Construction Zone Practice

"Reality": Construction, Deconstruction, and Reconstruction

Hofstadter's Road Sign


Download/view model (then chose File> Save Page As, save with .nlogo extension).

 

Learning to deconstruct and reconstruct

The interactive display below can be used to acquire the ability to see Hofstadter's Road Sign in at least four different ways. Controls to the left allow one to bias one's perception by adding apparent barriers and arrows. Controls to the right allow one to vary the color of the dots at various locations in ways that may help one see different patterns. Your comments are welcomed in the forum below.


"Reality" as deconstruction

Your computer is actually displaying the two patterns illustrated below, one after the other again and again.

 

"Reality" as construction

There are at least four different ways that your brain may see the display.

  • One dot on the left and one on the right, each moving up and down
  • One dot on the top and one on the bottom, each moving right and left
  • Two dots chasing each other in a clockwise direction
  • Two dots chasing each other in a counter clockwise direction


Posted by Laura Cyckowski and Paul Grobstein 29 March 2008. Applets created using NetLogo, the availability of which is gratefully acknowledged.

Comments

Deb's picture

trash trucks

The big trash trucks in our city have hazard lights on the back that use this pattern. If I see one in the morning when it is barely light out, the lights seem to chase each other. If I see one when it is full daylight they seem to just move up and down. Even if I concentrate on "creating" the other pattern, it doesn't change. I wonder if someone purposely designed the lights to flash in this way to mess with people's perceptions?!

Anon Ymous's picture

tilt your head to the side

tilt your head to the side

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Anonymous's picture

What brain info does the road sign give

I seem to see two dots moving up and down, or two arrows moving up and down. Pointing the arrows clockwise or counterclockwise makes no difference, though I can see why it might. Is there any psychological lesson in this, any insight? If not, what's the point?

Cynthia Henderson's picture

INTERACTIVE BRAIN LEARNING

I am going to be able to greet my students by singing happy birthday and allowing them to interact with the cat in the scratch program.The students will be able to add or delete at will.Look at the blog!
Cynthia Henderson's picture

Construction and deconstruction in brain functioning

I intend to use legos to help my students to understand stories in terms of brain construction and image perception.You can't believe what you see,hear or feel because of so many factors involved in the process.
Serendip Visitor's picture

China

Hi Cynthia: I would love to ask you a teaching question. I am from America, but am now teaching here in China (Dalian)

drop me a hello:

Paul

Cynthia Henderson's picture

Construction and deconstruction in brain functioning

I intend to use legos to help my students to understand stories in terms of brain construction and image perception.You can't believe what you see,hear or feel because of so many factors involved in the process.
Cynthia Henderson's picture

Construction and deconstruction in brain functioning

I intend to use legos to help my students to understand stories in terms of brain construction and image perception.You can't believe what you see,hear or feel because of so many factors involved in the process.
Cynthia Henderson's picture

Construction and deconstruction in brain functioning

I intend to use legos to help my students to understand stories in terms of brain construction and image perception.You can't believe what you see,hear or feel because of so many factors involved in the process.

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