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Best Visual Illusions Of 2014

The 2014 winners of the Best Illusion of the Year Contest were announced this past Sunday. Hosted yearly since 2005 by the Neural Correlate Society, the contest celebrates "the ingenuity and creativity of the world's premier visual illusion research community."

Visual illusions aren't just cool — they can also help us understand how our visual system works. So prepare to be amazed, but also to learn, as you peruse this year's finalists and winners, including Christopher Blair, Gideon Caplovitz, and Ryan Mruczek's first-place winning "Dynamic Ebbinghaus," in which a central circle only appears to change in size as the circles around it change in size and location:

You can keep up with more of what Tania Lombrozo is thinking on Twitter: @TaniaLombrozo

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Tania Lombrozo is a contributor to the NPR blog 13.7: Cosmos & Culture. She is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, as well as an affiliate of the Department of Philosophy and a member of the Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences. Lombrozo directs the Concepts and Cognition Lab, where she and her students study aspects of human cognition at the intersection of philosophy and psychology, including the drive to explain and its relationship to understanding, various aspects of causal and moral reasoning and all kinds of learning.