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Beauty or brains? Einstein-Monroe photo may reveal if you need glasses

SOURCE: Dr. Audee Olivia (MIT) SOURCE: Dr. Audee Olivia (MIT)
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -

Do you see Albert Einstein or Marilyn Monroe? If you're seeing Monroe, you may want to consult your eye doctor.

A new video has been released by AsapSCIENCE explaining the optical illusion. According to Dr. Audree Olivia, of MIT, if you are at a normal viewing distance from the screen and have decent vision, you should be seeing Albert Einstein. If you're seeing Monroe, you may want to consider wearing glasses or contacts.

The effect can be seen by anyone by changing the distance or size of the picture. If the image is far away, viewers are more likely to see Marilyn Monroe. The viewer can only pick up the broader strokes from a distance. As viewers get closer to the image, the finer details of Einstein become visible.

Olivia calls the image a ‘Hybrid Image.' A hybrid image is a single picture that combines the low spatial frequencies (LSF) of one image with the high spatial frequencies (HSF) of another image, producing a new image with an interpretation that changes with viewing distance or size.

According to Olivia's study "The Art of Perception 1," every image is made up of different components at different spatial frequencies, which capture different aspects of that image. LSF images depict global luminance variations in the image and broad contours, Olivia states. When viewed alone, the low spatial frequencies of an image are a blurry, out of focus version of that image.

LSF images reveal the outer shape of objects; at the lowest spatial frequencies only very large objects can be seen, with increasing spatial frequencies depicting more detail.

In contrast, to the broad contours found in low spatial frequencies, the high spatial frequencies of an image represent sharp details and fine contours.

Superimposing the coarse and the fine parts of two different images creates hybrid images, according to Olivia.

View the full study here: http://bit.ly/1yOJEJJ 

Mobile users can take the video test here: http://bit.ly/1HHeRn8 

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