Humans, like all primates, are highly visual creatures. Most of the back of our brain is devoted to visual processing, and half of the cortex is involved with sight. In addition, when visual inputs conflict with clues from other senses, vision tends to dominate. This supremacy is why, for example, ventriloquists are so compelling. We see the dummy talking, and we are fooled into hearing the voice coming from it--a case of what sci¿entists call "visual cap¿ture." (With eyes closed, however, we can correctly localize the dummy voice to the ventriloquist.)
If information from vision and touch are incompatible, visual dominance may cause us to actually feel things differently than if we relied only on touch (without looking).
This article was originally published with the title Touching Illusions.