Research Topic

On the meaning of illusions and paradoxes in evolution, perception, cognition, consciousness, art, life, artificial intelligence, and science

About this Research Topic

This Research Topic is a part of the article collection series, The Future of Perceptual Illusions: From Phenomenology to Neuroscience.

Plato and Aristotle suggested that philosophy begins with a sense of wonder. Illusions and paradoxes are some of the best candidates to trigger the sense of wonder and the question “Why?”. They have attracted and continue to attract not only naive people but thinkers in fields such as psychology, philosophy, mathematics, biology, ethology, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, and art.

Illusions and paradoxes have stimulated mathematicians and logicians to demonstrate theorems like Gödel’s, psychologists to study human minds, biologists and ethologists to understand evolution and explore the complex interactions among species, artists to develop new ideas and new forms of Art, and philosophers to delineate the bases and boundaries of knowledge.

Illusions and paradoxes are also important tools to understand perception, cognition, and communication. Research in the cognitive neurosciences has described illusions and the neural networks that may underlie them in normal and pathological cases and in subjects with specific abilities (e.g. synesthesia) or losses (e.g. prosopagnosia).

Illusions are present in every context of everyday life, for example in social interactions, through fashion, maquillage, and other ways of appearing more attractive, more interesting, more intelligent, and better than we are. They highlight some things and hide others. They involve -- and distort -- emotions and memory. They are part of our beliefs in every field from naive physics to religion. They can stimulate intelligence, art, creativity, the initiation of new ideas, and can do so throughout the life span. In short, they permeate every aspect of our lives.

The purpose of this Research Topic is to combine illusions and paradoxes from different fields in the same place, to promote the development of new theories and approaches beyond the usual watertight compartments of scientific and cultural disciplines. Themes of interest include illusions and paradoxes in perception, cognition, art, biology, ethology, consciousness, human and artificial intelligence, and neural network models.


Keywords: Illusion, Cognition, Biology, Art


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

This Research Topic is a part of the article collection series, The Future of Perceptual Illusions: From Phenomenology to Neuroscience.

Plato and Aristotle suggested that philosophy begins with a sense of wonder. Illusions and paradoxes are some of the best candidates to trigger the sense of wonder and the question “Why?”. They have attracted and continue to attract not only naive people but thinkers in fields such as psychology, philosophy, mathematics, biology, ethology, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, and art.

Illusions and paradoxes have stimulated mathematicians and logicians to demonstrate theorems like Gödel’s, psychologists to study human minds, biologists and ethologists to understand evolution and explore the complex interactions among species, artists to develop new ideas and new forms of Art, and philosophers to delineate the bases and boundaries of knowledge.

Illusions and paradoxes are also important tools to understand perception, cognition, and communication. Research in the cognitive neurosciences has described illusions and the neural networks that may underlie them in normal and pathological cases and in subjects with specific abilities (e.g. synesthesia) or losses (e.g. prosopagnosia).

Illusions are present in every context of everyday life, for example in social interactions, through fashion, maquillage, and other ways of appearing more attractive, more interesting, more intelligent, and better than we are. They highlight some things and hide others. They involve -- and distort -- emotions and memory. They are part of our beliefs in every field from naive physics to religion. They can stimulate intelligence, art, creativity, the initiation of new ideas, and can do so throughout the life span. In short, they permeate every aspect of our lives.

The purpose of this Research Topic is to combine illusions and paradoxes from different fields in the same place, to promote the development of new theories and approaches beyond the usual watertight compartments of scientific and cultural disciplines. Themes of interest include illusions and paradoxes in perception, cognition, art, biology, ethology, consciousness, human and artificial intelligence, and neural network models.


Keywords: Illusion, Cognition, Biology, Art


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

01 November 2021 Abstract
01 June 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

01 November 2021 Abstract
01 June 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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