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Stories by Stephen L. Macknik

Calderon's 2 Dreams

These 17th-century plays resonate the fundamental, timeless, question of human existence: How can we know that life is not a dream?

February 22, 2017 — Stephen L. Macknik
The Case of the Oversized Planet

The Case of the Oversized Planet

Illusions noticed by Galileo can help explain how we see light and dark 

October 17, 2016 — Stephen L. Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde

The Stars in Your Eyes

Galileo saw celestial spheres spinning in space, but was dismayed by effects we now know arose in his brain: The same Jovian moon could appear small or big depending on whether it was dark or bright against its background. DaVinci and Helmholtz also suffered from similar delusions of grandeur, when viewing white objects versus black. We show some of brain’s illusions of brightness here, as companions to our new Illusions article in this month’s print edition of Scientific American MIND.

October 16, 2016 — Stephen L. Macknik