Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

Gateways to the Mind: tricky trapezoid

4 minutes

Optical illusions show how past experience dramatically influences perception

‘I’ll never trust another trapezoid.’

Part of a series of educational films produced by Bell Laboratories between 1956 and 1964, Gateways to the Mind (1958) explored human senses and perception using animations, demonstrations and in-the-lab sequences. In this brief excerpt, the US English professor and public educator Frank C Baxter walks the audience through three experiments carried out at Princeton University’s Perception Demonstration Center, each highlighting the powerful relationship between perception and past experience.

Director: Owen Crump


Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

Essay/Mood & Emotion
Psychology’s power tools

Cognitive behavioural therapy has created interventions that truly help people to change. Here are the best of them

David A Sbarra

Essay/Love & Friendship
Why women stray

Evolutionary theory says men stray to increase offspring, but what motivates women? Enter the mate-switching hypothesis

David Buss