Under the Cortex: Gesturing Reduces Effect of a Classic Optical Illusion, Study Finds

Sometimes our eyes can deceive us, as shown by a perception-bending optical illusion involving a pair of lines, or sticks, of equal length. One stick, framed by open fins at each end, appears longer to our eyes than an equally long stick framed by closed fins. Even when we use our hands to estimate the lengths of the sticks, we are susceptible to the illusion. Previous research has shown that the illusion collapses when we prepare to grasp the stick with our hands. New research adds to these findings by showing that the illusion also collapses when we use our hands to describe such an action.

Susan Goldin-Meadow explains how a new study published in the journal Psychological Science reveals that, under certain conditions, gesturing may enhance our ability to estimate the dimensions of objects even when our eyes deceive us. Read the entire news release here


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