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Introduction
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For the life of me, I can't force my mind to find the older woman in the image. Back in the s, one scientist Gerald Fisher even showed how to develop this kind of figure using gradations of ambiguity. Almost everyone sees a guy in the top left box and almost everyone sees a woman in the bottom right box, but the illustrations in the middle could go either way.

Other images are called "reversible. You see one thing, look away, then look back and see another. A lot of these fall into the optical illusion category, and psychologists like to manipulate the conditions under which one or the other will appear. They have developed a ton of these tools to probe different areas of the mechanics of perception. Before we get into the mechanics of those processes, let's step back for a minute and talk about a current hypothesis about the way the visual processing works.

Mathew Tom: The Way the Image Is Interpreted

We tend to think of the eyes as sensors, like a CCD in a camera. Light falls on retinal cells and they convey that information "up" to the brain, which shows us a real-time image of our environment. Of course, the brain is much more complex than this. When scientists look at the visual cortex, they find distinct layers that function in a rough hierarchy. Each layer handles a certain level of complexity.

So, the most basic might simply process lines at a certain angle. It depicts recordings from neurons that respond most strongly to diagonal lines running through their receptive field, which is represented as the dashed box.

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Diagonal line: heavy firing. Horizontal line: not so much. The neurons in the next layer might respond most intensely to a simple pattern, or density of lines. Through the cortex, the complexity increases, but the mechanisms remain the same: neurons are tuned to certain phenomena, whether that's a line of a certain orientation or a face. Much of this has been known for decades. When neuroscientists look at the connections between the cells, they don't just see information passing up the complexity chain.

There is information running down from the neocortex's higher levels to the lower ones. Why is that significant? You're not only seeing what is actually before you; you're seeing what your brain is telling you is there. Specifically, the cortex is sending a cascade of predictions about what should be seen at all the different layers of complexity. But if something is amiss with the prediction, that information gets transmitted and the brain tries to find a better organizational paradigm for the visual input. Knowledge feeds perception and back again. There are loops everywhere strengthening and weakening according to how well they seem to reflect exterior reality.

Now perhaps you see why the facepalm trick works: if you know to look for a hand, there it is. University of Sheffield cognitive scientist Tom Stafford likes to show people this picture in talks. He "warns the audience that [he's] about to 'rewire their brains. At that moment, the frog jumps out at most people, and they'll find it easy to see the frog from then onward. They cannot unsee it. Somewhere in your neocortex, the predictive model that knows what a frog looks like is influencing the cascade of neuronal activity, turning circles into eyes and an arc into a mouth.

If you still can't see him, here's the original grayscale:. So, when Holly Brockwell tells us that she can't unsee the facepalm in the World Cup logo, she is, quite literally, rewiring your brain. RT FacesPics : Seahorse bacon pic. And this one, oh god, this one is a great example of someone directing your conscious attention to a previously unnoticed alternative image interpretation. These silly images tell us something significant about the way we are.

Shakespeare was onto something with his email-signature-famous line, delivered by Hamlet, "for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

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Kgahlego Kewana is a doctor who at 28 years old decided to pursue a career in design. Now, the LISOF graduate wants to create interesting designs that are accessible to the everyday woman. She established a platform called Fashion Meets Jazz in order to nurture other rising talents in the industry while she cultivates her own design identity. If clothes represent who we are, then jewellery makes up the pieces that tie everything together. Another gemstone enthusiast and professional gemologist, Taz Watson keeps every aspect of her business sustainable and African, from sourcing to manufacturing and packaging.

Finally, a range by interior designer turned jewellery designer Bonolo Moloi involves crocheting, beading and weaving.


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Every year, we find a plethora of graphic designers, photographers and illustrators who find new ways to explore these design staples. Fumani Khumalo is an all-rounder in this space. He dabbled in illustration, graffiti, and fine art before landing his current role as an art director at the digital agency, VML.

The Joburg-based Vega graduate draws detailed portraits using charcoal and also makes use of ink, acrylic paint and markers to add abstract representations of thought and speech. Phenyo Melody Madiba substitutes charcoal for fire in her own work.

Mathew Tom: The Way the Image Is Interpreted - Execute Magazine!

Ancient religions and beliefs had one common God, the Sun God. I sometimes use gold in my pieces, to illustrate that belief — that black women are Sun Gods. Natalie Paneng is a multidisciplinary artist. Her photographic work is mainly focused on self-portraiture. She uses the mediums of photography and videography as a means to represent herself in different persona and characters which connect with an online audience.

Like Paneng, Mzoxolo x Mayongo x, formerly Christopher is a conceptual artist and activist who is multifaceted in his approach. He unpacks conceptual ideas about the human condition, interrogating our complexities. Suzan Mbhali Manzini uses illustration to promote self-love. With her company, ForMeByMe, Manzini has personalised illustrated phone cases, t-shirts, portraits and laptop stickers.

Graphic design student Nicole Du Toit takes a similar approach to her work. Their work, unique and captivating speaks to the future of illustration as we know it. From personal stories to community upliftment, their work is not to be missed. In the visual art category, Mondli Kunene wants to use his painting to foster social change. Along with multiple paintings, Kunene has also created two murals in Sharpeville.

Lastly, Lunga Ntila is a visual artist who uses storytelling to evoke emotion. Karabo Seleke is a painter and ceramics artist, whose work is influenced by nature and the people around him. His ceramic artwork is decorated in contemporary colours and uses stylish yet traditional patterns. The product designer looks at creating quirky everyday pieces that are lead by humour.

His company, CLAN, focuses on interior design, where Cira and his co-founders produce products that represent love, peace, unity and equality. Hlengi Baloyi is a self-taught traditional handbag designer who in , won the Lisof X Edgars 2nd year Denim rip and repair deconstruction competition. Baloyi will be joined by accessories and jewellery designer Thando Simelane whose work hopes to educate children about the dangers of drug use. While jewellery designer Mbali Mthethwa is inspired by her Zulu heritage.

Her brand. The Herd Designs looks at the power of art, creativity and how to preserve tradition. A number of creatives in the photography industry have tapped into the conceptual and the surreal. Her diverse portfolio includes fashion photography, conceptual art, fine art, surrealist expressions, product shoots and food. And filmmaker and photographer Tandekile Mkize uses storytelling through fashion and art as a focal point in his work.

The Design Indaba Emerging Creatives are here. Graphic design, illustration, and visual art Every year, we find a plethora of graphic designers, photographers and illustrators who find new ways to explore these design staples.


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