Want to test your eyesight with this hybrid image?
Who do you see when you look at the image from a regular viewing distance?
Is it Marilyn Monroe or Albert Einstein?
If there is someone around, ask them who they see.
Now, start taking steps back as you look at the image.
Does the image change?
Who do you see now?
Or, try squinting your eyes and look at the photo.
You probably won’t be surprised to hear that the person most people see when they are close to the image is Albert Einstein, however, not everyone gets to maintain the same image as the distance changes. As they get farther away from the image, most people are shocked by the sudden transformation of Albert Einstein into Marilyn Monroe. The same happens if you change the size of the image, in which case the smaller one will be perceived as Marilyn Monroe, whereas the bigger image will show clear details of Albert Einstein’s face.
If you find it hard to find the face of Albert Einstein, chances are you need to see your eye doctor, as your eyesight probably isn’t very good. If you already wear glasses, then you need a stronger ones.
For the rest of you, who clearly see Albert Einstein at first, your eyesight is as good as you can keep the unchanged image.
How hybrid images determine our eyesight
The image above, created by Dr. Aude Olivia from MIT is a hybrid image which is made by taking two separate images and combining low spatial frequency components of one with high spatial frequency components of the other. In this way, as we are closer to the image, we can more easily spot the fine lines and details (in this particular case the wrinkles on Albert Einstein’s face), whereas if the image gets smaller, or if we look at it from bigger distance, our eyes are only able to see general details like shape of hair, mouth or nose, features that, in this case, belong to Marilyn Monroe.
The author of the image explains the concept of hybrid image:
“The phenomenon of hybrid images arises from the multi-scale processing of images in the human visual system. By taking into account perceptual grouping mechanisms, one can build compelling hybrid images with two different stable interpretations: one that appears when the image is viewed up-close, and the other that appears from afar.”
The explanation of how hybrid images are able to determine the quality of our eyesight lies in the fact that our ability to focus and see clear, fine details from any distance defines good eyesight. Therefore, people who struggle with blurred image even at regular viewing distance, should consider seeing an eye doctor.
How to train your eyesight to stay sharp
No matter if you have a perfect vision, or you can’t function without your glasses or contacts, your eyes will benefit from simple exercises you can do anywhere, anytime.
1. The Indian Trataka exercise
The Indian Trataka exercise is extremely helpful in keeping our eyesight healthy as it is designed to train focus, both of our eyes and our mind.
- sit in a comfortable position with your eyes in a line to a small fixed object
- look at the object and focus all of your attention on it
- try not to blink for as long as you can
- once the clear image of the object is fixed in your mind, close your eyes and recall it with focusing your attention on the space between your eyebrows
2. Eye massage
To provide relief to your tired eye muscle, give your eyes a massage every once in a while.
Use your middle and index finger and follow the points 1 to 6 as shown in the photo above.
3. Eye workout
In order to train your eye muscle, perform these 16 steps for eye workout.
4. Focus exercise
You can practice focus of your eyes each time you go out by simply trying to look farther in the distance instead of right in front of you.
Featured photo credit: http://cvcl.mit.edu/Aude.htm via cvcl.mit.edu