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Bill Nye: Mirror, Mirror

Bill Nye: Mirror, Mirror

Author: Bill Nye

In this tutorial, Bill Nye uses a mirror to help the learner understand how our brain processes images.

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Mirror, Mirror


Next time you start staring at yourself in the mirror, try a little science at the same time. Here’s an experiment that shows how your brain works with what you see.

What You Need:

1. a hand-held mirror

What You Do:

1. Draw a big sideways letter S or curvy shape on a piece of paper. 
2. Set up your design so that you can see it reflected in the mirror. 
3. Using a different colored pen, trace over the curving line you drew, but only look in the mirror.

What’s Happening?

You see the image on the paper, but everything is backwards, reversed. What was “front” looks “back,” what was “left” looks “right.” Tracing the gentle curve gets difficult because your brain hardly ever has to direct your hands in reverse.

Mirror, Mirror

Here's the same Home Demo in convenient PDF form!