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10 Amazing Optical Illusions

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Do you see what I see? Not necessarily with these optical illusions! When you look at an image, your brain takes that information into perception. Sometimes, an image can trick the brain into perceiving it differently from what the picture actually is, creating an optical illusion.

Take a look at the following 10 images to find out if you can see the two images masking as one.

slide1_2.jpg

Is It a Man Playing a Horn or Woman’s Face?

When you stare at this black and white image, do you see woman’s face with hair on the right side of it or a man playing a horn? If you can’t see the man, look at the black shape. See him now?

slide2_1.jpg

Is It a Rabbit or a Duck?

If you look at this image one way, the two rectangular shapes on the left could be a duck’s bill. But if you look at it another way, those shapes might appear to you as a pair of rabbit ears.

slide3_1.jpg

Do You See One Face or Two?

When staring at this image, you might see two silhouettes facing each other. Look again and you may just see one face staring at a candlestick.

slide4.gif

Do You See a Stream or People?

Some people may see a rushing stream going down a mountain in this picture, but if you take a closer look at that stream, you may see it as people wearing white robes. What do you see?

slide5.gif

Is It a Frog or Horse?

At first glance, this image may just look like an illustration of a horse. However, if you tilt your head to the left you might see a frog sitting on a lily pad instead.

slide6.jpg

Is It a Vase or Two Faces?

In this popular optical illusion you might see a vase. Another person might look at it and see two silhouettes of faces. Do you see how the curves of the vase could form the shape of a face and vice versa?

slide 7.gif

Do You See an Old Man, an Old Woman, or a Girl?

Your eye might show you one, two or even three different images in this complex optical illusion. Do you see the large nose and mustache of a man who is wearing a hat? Perhaps you see the young girl wearing a hat who is looking away on her left. Or, you might see the old woman, also wearing a hat, who is facing to the left.

slide8.gif

Are the Circles Intertwining or Concentric?

Do these circles look like they’re intertwining to you? Now, take another look and try to pinpoint the locations in which the circles meet. If you can’t find them, don’t worry. These circles are actual concentric and only have the illusion of intertwining with one another.

slide9.jpg

Are the Circles Moving?

Staring still at this image will show you two stationary circles with a black dot in the middle of the inner circle. Stare at the dot, but start moving your head closer to the image, and then pull it away. Did you see the circles move?

slide 10.gif

Do You See an Elderly Man and Woman or a Young Man and Woman?

When you look at this image do you see two elderly people gazing at each other? If not, you might see two people wearing sombreros while sitting down set against a larger scene. The man is playing the guitar. These people’s bodies make out the silhouettes of the elderly couple’s faces.

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      "There are very few actual studies of people with remarkably superior memory who compete in these memory contests. This is by far the largest," says Roddy Roediger, a psychologist with Washington University in St Louis.
      Roediger has studied people with exceptional memory for a long time. He says people knew that something different had to be going on inside the brains of these people.
      "These people are the first to really uncover what that something may be," he says.
      But this method of memory training is not the key to unlocking intelligence. In fact, it doesn't even seem to be the key to unlocking overall memory capability.
      For example, Roediger knows a man capable of playing dozens of games of chess at the same time, while blindfolded.
      "He had never heard of memory palaces," says Roediger.
      There are also people who have memorized the Bible in its entirety and can recite portions of it on demand. And there are others who have a condition known as Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory, where they remember every day of their lives in sometimes excruciating detail.
      "And yet, when you put them in memory tasks that memory competitors can do very easily, they can't do them any easier than you or I could," says Roediger. "So that's a real mystery."
      The same limitations apply to people who have trained their memories.
      If, for example, you ask the chess player or a Bible memorizer to remember a long list of words, says Roediger, "none of them can do that." Their techniques are specific to their tasks.
      And, he says, intense memory training doesn't cure everyday forgetfulness.
      "They forget the milk on the way home from work just like we do," says Roediger.
      Boris Nikolai Konrad says it has been years since he forgot something on his grocery list. But every now and then he does slip up with someone's name — and that's a moment people don't let him forget.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Dance your heart out
      "As a model, it's my job to know my angles and my body for posing for the camera," Lee told Self magazine. "But saying affirmations and dancing in the mirror has become part of my self-care routine. Dancing in general makes me feel present and alive, but adding in positive sayings to myself makes me feel empowered and puts you in the right place mentally and emotionally before you leave your home." —Precious Lee
      Treat yourself
      "The best way I know for sure to stay in steady makeover mode is to take care of yourself," Oprah Winfrey wrote in an issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. "To feed yourself with love and loving thoughts. To eat food that's delicious to you and to your body. To engage in loving practices, like giving yourself the gift of stillness at least five minutes a day. To surround yourself with people who bring you light, and to banish all forms of negative energy." —Oprah Winfrey
      Make your body happy
      "I mostly go for hourlong hikes with friends," Kristen Bell said to Self magazine, "but sometimes, I'll do Pilates or 20 minutes of calisthenics…I go through spurts. Working out for me has nothing to do with body image. I refuse to look in the mirror and hate myself. My goal isn't to change my body—it's to make my body happy." —Kristen Bell
      Find joy in the little things
      "You can't look to…anything from the outside to fill you up," Jennifer Garner told O, The Oprah Magazine. "You have to find it in the small things in everyday life—which I do a million times a day: a hot cup of tea, a hummingbird. Stop, take that in, receive it, get joy from it." —Jennifer Garner
      Connect
      As Lily Collins explained to Seventeen magazine, "It's important to relate to one another about issues that you're having, because the second you open up and someone else says, 'Oh, me too. I feel the same way,' then all of a sudden, you feel more at peace with yourself and you can feel more confident with who you are." —Lily Collins
      Take a hiatus
      At the end of last summer, Selena Gomez announced she was taking time off for herself. "I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness," she explained in a statement. It was later reported, that she checked into a Tennessee rehab facility to make her mental wellness top priority. Gomez's vocal support for self-care marked a shift in the collective dialogue, homing in on the need to take time for ourselves. —Selena Gomez
      Carve quality time with your kids
      "If I make my kids something delicious and we sit down to eat it, and I put my phone away and I really listen, that is such money in the bank," 43-year-old Gwyneth Paltrow told Self. Balancing a career with motherhood isn't easy for anyone, but it's a juggling act Paltrow has come to relish. "It's a fantastic age," she says, of being 44. "You can still find yourself at a party at 3 a.m., but you also know enough about who you are and how that informs the choices you make." —Gwyneth Paltrow
      Purpose, not perfection
      "It's really about changing the conversation. It's not about perfection. It's about purpose," the singing sensation told Elle U.K. "We have to care about our bodies and what we put in them. Women have to take the time to focus on our mental health—take time for self, for the spiritual, without feeling guilty or selfish. The world will see you the way you see you, and treat you the way you treat yourself." —Beyoncé
      Food is fuel
      "Getting busy and realizing that food was fuel and simply getting older," said Lena Dunham in People was the key to body acceptance. "I really feel good with my size now," she said. "I know when I say that people are like, 'mm-hmm,' but I just do! It used to be when I went into a room with all thin women I felt like, what's wrong with me? Now I just feel special." —Lena Dunham
      http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-28822/9-celebrity-self-care-tips-youll-definitely-want-to-steal.html?utm_source=mbg&utm_medium=email&utm_content=daily&utm_campaign=170215
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Using a sauna may be more than just relaxing and refreshing. It may also reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, a new study suggests.
      Researchers in Finland analyzed medical records of 2,315 healthy men ages 42 to 60, tracking their health over an average of about 20 years. During that time, they diagnosed 204 cases of dementia and 123 cases of Alzheimer’s disease.
      The study, in Age and Ageing, controlled for alcohol intake, smoking, blood pressure, diabetes and other health and behavioral factors. It found that compared with men who used a sauna once a week, those who used a sauna four to seven times a week had a 66 percent lower risk for dementia and a 65 percent lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
       
      The senior author, Jari Antero Laukkanen, a professor of clinical medicine at the University of Eastern Finland, said that various physiological mechanisms may be involved. Sauna bathing may, for example, lead to reduced inflammation, better vascular function or lowered blood pressure.
      “Overall relaxation and well-being can be another reason,” he added, though the findings were only an association. “We need more studies to clarify mechanisms and confirm our findings.”

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Date:
      December 13, 2016
      Source:
      University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
      Summary:
      A study of older adults links consumption of a pigment found in leafy greens to the preservation of 'crystallized intelligence,' the ability to use the skills and knowledge one has acquired over a lifetime.

      Lutein helps with the preservation of “crystallized intelligence" and is acquire through the diet, primarily through eating leafy green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, or egg yolks.
      Credit: © nyul / Fotolia
      A study of older adults links consumption of a pigment found in leafy greens to the preservation of "crystallized intelligence," the ability to use the skills and knowledge one has acquired over a lifetime.
      The study is reported in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.
      Lutein (LOO-teen) is one of several plant pigments that humans acquire through the diet, primarily by eating leafy green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, or egg yolks, said University of Illinois graduate student Marta Zamroziewicz, who led the study with Illinois psychology professor Aron Barbey. Lutein accumulates in the brain, embedding in cell membranes, where it likely plays "a neuroprotective role," she said.
      "Previous studies have found that a person's lutein status is linked to cognitive performance across the lifespan," Zamroziewicz said. "Research also shows that lutein accumulates in the gray matter of brain regions known to underlie the preservation of cognitive function in healthy brain aging."
      The study enrolled 122 healthy participants aged 65 to 75 who solved problems and answered questions on a standard test of crystallized intelligence. Researchers also collected blood samples to determine blood serum levels of lutein and imaged participants' brains using MRI to measure the volume of different brain structures.
      The team focused on parts of the temporal cortex, a brain region that other studies suggest plays a role in the preservation of crystallized intelligence.
      The researchers found that participants with higher blood serum levels of lutein tended to do better on tests of crystallized intelligence. Serum lutein levels reflect only recent dietary intakes, Zamroziewicz said, but are associated with brain concentrations of lutein in older adults, which reflect long-term dietary intake.
      Those with higher serum lutein levels also tended to have thicker gray matter in the parahippocampal cortex, a brain region that, like crystallized intelligence, is preserved in healthy aging, the researchers report.
      "Our analyses revealed that gray-matter volume of the parahippocampal cortex on the right side of the brain accounts for the relationship between lutein and crystallized intelligence," Barbey said. "This offers the first clue as to which brain regions specifically play a role in the preservation of crystallized intelligence, and how factors such as diet may contribute to that relationship."
      "Our findings do not demonstrate causality," Zamroziewicz said. "We did find that lutein is linked to crystallized intelligence through the parahippocampal cortex."
      "We can only hypothesize at this point how lutein in the diet affects brain structure," Barbey said. "It may be that it plays an anti-inflammatory role or aids in cell-to-cell signaling. But our finding adds to the evidence suggesting that particular nutrients slow age-related declines in cognition by influencing specific features of brain aging."
      Story Source:
      Materials provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Original written by Diana Yates. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
      Journal Reference:
      Marta K. Zamroziewicz, Erick J. Paul, Chris E. Zwilling, Elizabeth J. Johnson, Matthew J. Kuchan, Neal J. Cohen, Aron K. Barbey. Parahippocampal Cortex Mediates the Relationship between Lutein and Crystallized Intelligence in Healthy, Older Adults. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 2016; 8 DOI: 10.3389/fnagi.2016.00297

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      It’s that time of year again. On November 6th, most of the United States will participate in that semi-annual ritual of changing the clocks by an hour. In the fall we gain an hour of sleep time, or an hour of loafing around on a Sunday morning…how bad could it be?
      Our circadian clock is an elaborate system of chemical signals and hormonesreacting to all sorts of environmental inputs such as light, feeding, and even temperature. The system is quite elegant, with many interconnected parts that when working well keeps us healthy with brains and metabolism in tip top condition. We can compare the circadian system to an orchestra playing a symphony…if everyone is playing the same piece, well-timed and in tune, it sounds wonderful, but if one horn is off pitch, the whole experience can be ruined. 
      Sleep is necessary for the brain to wash away the build-up of toxic byproducts of cell metabolism accumulated over the day. Without sleep, we very quickly lose the ability to function. The effects of acute total sleep deprivation are very obvious. In folks with bipolar disorder it can cause a manic episode and seizures in those with epilepsy. Long term, even low level sleep deprivation can contribute to a myriad of bad health effects, such as obesity, depression, and dementia. It also increases risks of heart attacks and motor vehicle accidents. While one hour difference a couple times a year seems small, evidence shows us that the delicate human circadian clock doesn’t adjust well to the abrupt difference in time.
      When looking at the acute affects of the one hour transition of daylight savings, there are a host of papers showing negative effects on workplace injuries, productivity, traffic accidents, and heart attacks. But what about mental health? Older papers remark on no changes in suicidal behaviors or increase in inpatient or outpatient admissions during DST changes, but large Scandinavian registries over decades give us the ability to get a bigger picture of daylight savings in spring and fall and mental health. Overall admissions could balance out if each transition (forward or backward) has different effects on major depressive disorder or mood disorders with more seasonal components.
      It seems that the single hour change is not disruptive enough to lead to an increase hospitalization for bipolar manic episodes in this Finnish study (whereas there are cases of mania caused by bigger time shifts due to air travel). However, less dramatic but negative behavioral effects are seen in children during the days following daylight savings switches.
      One hour of change in the timing of the day (that, in the fall, is often looked upon favorably as ‘that extra hour of sleep’) theoretically has it’s most debilitating consequences for those with depressive disorders. We don’t understand all the intricacies of circadian rhythm and mood problems, but we do know there are many therapies involving light, sleep deprivation, early awakening, and circadian advance to an “early to bed, early to rise” sleep schedule can effectively help treat depression. Sleeping later in the morning is associated with depression, particularly in women. It makes sense, then, that a government proscribed regimen of sleeping later could increase the risk of depression, and a recent large study seems to confirm this, with an 11% increase in hospitalizations for depression in the weeks after the daylight savings transition to standard time in Denmark. Autumn daylight savings in the high latitudes shortens the effective light in the working day, with biologic and psychological effects.
      The one hour time change, even adding an hour of needed sleep, can be detrimental to the brain’s delicate circadian clock. It acts as one more stressor to the myriad of stress in our modern daily schedules. Given that daylight savings time may not even save energy, it’s a wonder that we subject ourselves to the disruption twice a year.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Telling small lies desensitizes our brains to the associated negative emotions and may encourage us to tell bigger lies in future
      Date:
      October 24, 2016
      Source:
      University College London
      Summary:
      Telling small lies desensitizes our brains to the associated negative emotions and may encourage us to tell bigger lies in future, reveals new research.

      Researchers have shown that self-serving lies gradually escalate, and they have revealed how this happens in our brains.
      Credit: © pathdoc / Fotolia
      Telling small lies desensitises our brains to the associated negative emotions and may encourage us to tell bigger lies in future, reveals new UCL research funded by Wellcome and the Center for Advanced Hindsight.
      The research, published in Nature Neuroscience, provides the first empirical evidence that self-serving lies gradually escalate and reveals how this happens in our brains.
      The team scanned volunteers' brains while they took part in tasks where they could lie for personal gain. They found that the amygdala, a part of the brain associated with emotion, was most active when people first lied for personal gain. The amygdala's response to lying declined with every lie while the magnitude of the lies escalated. Crucially, the researchers found that larger drops in amygdala activity predicted bigger lies in future.
      "When we lie for personal gain, our amygdala produces a negative feeling that limits the extent to which we are prepared to lie," explains senior author Dr Tali Sharot (UCL Experimental Psychology). "However, this response fades as we continue to lie, and the more it falls the bigger our lies become. This may lead to a 'slippery slope' where small acts of dishonesty escalate into more significant lies."
      The study included 80 volunteers who took part in a team estimation task that involved guessing the number of pennies in a jar and sending their estimates to unseen partners using a computer. This took place in several different scenarios. In the baseline scenario, participants were told that aiming for the most accurate estimate would benefit them and their partner. In various other scenarios, over- or under-estimating the amount would either benefit them at their partner's expense, benefit both of them, benefit their partner at their own expense, or only benefit one of them with no effect on the other.
      When over-estimating the amount would benefit the volunteer at their partner's expense, people started by slightly exaggerating their estimates which elicited strong amygdala responses. Their exaggerations escalated as the experiment went on while their amygdala responses declined.
      "It is likely the brain's blunted response to repeated acts of dishonesty reflects a reduced emotional response to these acts," says lead author Dr Neil Garrett (UCL Experimental Psychology). "This is in line with suggestions that our amygdala signals aversion to acts that we consider wrong or immoral. We only tested dishonesty in this experiment, but the same principle may also apply to escalations in other actions such as risk taking or violent behaviour."
      Dr Raliza Stoyanova, Senior Portfolio Developer, in the Neuroscience and Mental Health team at Wellcome, said: "This is a very interesting first look at the brain's response to repeated and increasing acts of dishonesty. Future work would be needed to tease out more precisely whether these acts of dishonesty are indeed linked to a blunted emotional response, and whether escalations in other types of behaviour would have the same effect."
      Story Source:
      Materials provided by University College London. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
      Journal Reference:
      Neil Garrett, Stephanie C Lazzaro, Dan Ariely, Tali Sharot. The brain adapts to dishonesty. Nature Neuroscience, 2016; DOI: 10.1038/nn.4426
      Cite This Page:
      MLA
      APA
      Chicago
      University College London. "How lying takes our brains down a 'slippery slope': Telling small lies desensitizes our brains to the associated negative emotions and may encourage us to tell bigger lies in future." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 October 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161024134012.htm>.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Alexandria, VA—For the third year in a row, Mental Health America (MHA) released its annual State of Mental Health Report, which ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on several mental health and access measures. The results show a country that is indeed more insured, but still falling dramatically short in meeting the needs of those with mental health concerns. 
       
      Health care reform has reduced the rates of uninsured adults with mental health conditions—19 percent remain uninsured in states that did not expand Medicaid, 13 percent remain uninsured in states that did expand Medicaid. Over 40 million Americans are dealing with a mental health concern—more than the populations of New York and Florida combined. There are over 1.2 million people currently residing in prisons and/or jails with a mental health condition and lack of access to mental health care is linked with higher rates of incarceration. 56 percent of adults still don’t receive treatment. Youth mental health problems are on the rise, and 6 out of 10 young people with major depression do not receive ANY mental health treatment. In states with the lowest workforce, there’s only 1 mental health professional per 1,000 individuals—that includes psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, counselors and psychiatric nurses combined. In the overall rankings, Connecticut came out as #1, while Nevada landed at #51. “Once again, our report shows that too many Americans are suffering, and far too many are not receiving the treatment they need to live healthy and productive lives,” said Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO, Mental Health America. “Mental illness touches everyone. We must improve access to care and treatments, and we need to put a premium on early identification and early intervention for everyone with mental health concerns.”
       
      In developing the report, MHA looked at 15 different measures to determine the rankings. MHA hoped to provide a snapshot of mental health status among youth and adults for policy and program planning, analysis, and evaluation; to track changes in prevalence of mental health issues and access to mental health care; to understand how changes in national data reflect the impact of legislation and policies; and to increase the dialogues and improve outcomes for individuals and families with mental health needs.
       
      “This is ultimately about policy decisions we make.  It isn’t just about what states are red and what states are blue,” Gionfriddo added, “because there are some of each near the top and the bottom.  But political environments in states do seem to matter.  Those that invest more in mental health clearly have to throw away less money on jails and prisons.  

      “It’s time to act—we must invest in the overall physical and mental well-being of our citizens—every day,” concluded Gionfriddo. “We must address these mental health concerns before crisis and tragedy strikes—before Stage 4.”


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