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See Inside Scientific American Mind Volume 24, Issue 1

Artists Play With Light and Shadows to Trick the Eye

Trompe l'oeil illusions challenge your perception
Handcraft

Painter Annie Ralli and photographer Ray Massey give new meaning to the term of handwriting. If you have not seen the illusion yet, look again: There. Is. No. Pen. The illusion is part of a series for Ecclesiastical Insurance, a company using the byline “You're in good hands.” Notice how cleverly the pen's “metal” clip disguises the index finger's first knuckle. The perceptual principle known as good continuation (our perception that the paint lines defining the pen make up a single uninterrupted object) plays a big role in the deception.

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