Ahaw F kindly sent me this video showing what happens when a cat encounters a motion illusion…..

There must be a research project in here!

13 comments

    1. We are not seeing an illusion. We are seeing the cat reacting to the visual vibrations and apparent movement of the wheels.
      I’ve spent 73 seconds of my life explaining that but hope it helps.

  1. a cat pawwing at printed paper does not mean it sees the same as us. a cat may stare intently into the corner of a room for minutes on end but it does not mean it has a higher capacity for seeing “magic eye” patterns in wallpaper.

    a cat is a cat. it sees well at night and can sleep in full daylight. we have little enough in common. let us not anthropomorphism them. they don’t like that.

    1. Yet in this case it’s blatantly obvious that Tiddles is seeing the illusion, and only a fool would suggest otherwise.

    2. Thomas Nagel’s essay “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” (redditly available on the internet) cautions us to be very wary of thinking we can accurately report the sensory sphere of other creatures.

      we do not know what the cat sees. projecting our own opinions makes it harder to see what the cat sees. we must take care here lest we overproject.

  2. Not convinced: our cat completely monsters the newspaper in a very similar (but much more violent) manner without the need for any illusionary snakes.

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