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An illusion is a distortion of a sensory perception. Each of the human senses can be deceived by illusions, but visual illusions are the most well known. Some illusions are subjective; different people may experience an illusion differently, or not at all.
- Optical illusions, such the use of Mueller Lyer illusion, exploit assumptions made by the human visual system.
- Auditory illusions, such as the Shepard Tone, exploit our hearing.
- Touch illusions exploit the human sense of touch.
- Autokinetic illusion
- In psychiatry the term illusion refers to a specific form of sensory distortion. Unlike an hallucination, which is a sensory experience in the absence of a stimulus, an illusion describes a distortion of a perception so it is understood and interpreted differently. For example, hearing voices regardless of the environment would be an hallucination, whereas hearing voices which arise only from the sound of running water (or other auditory source) would be an illusion.
- In 2006 a word linking the blurred perception of reality resulting from small doses of hallucinogenic drugs was coined by Liam Carney. These "illusionations" are not hallucinations in the strict sense of the word since they are not novel fabrications of the mind but rather a distortion of what is seen and heard.
- Stage magic is a popular form of entertainment based on illusion. Magicians use tricks to give their audiences the impression that seemingly impossible events have occurred. See magic (illusion).
- Augmented reality for a more radical approach to the possibility of illusion
- Helmholtz, Hermann von
- Maya (Hinduism)
- Mirages are optical distortions through the atmosphere that may be photographed. While the perceived reality (such as water in the desert) is illusory, the visual image (of a reflective surface) is real.
- Perceptual aftereffect
- Percpetual distortion
- Percpetual disturbances
- Spatial distortion
- Trompe l'oeil
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