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Visual Reorientation Illusions (VRIs)


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#61    rm76

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 04:10 PM

View PostHugh, on 23 September 2009 - 12:47 PM, said:

Similarly, memories for me of any event are related to the viewpoint that I was in during the time.

Exactly the same for me. In fact, some childhood memories which i cherish happened in a different viewpoint - even today, my memory of those times is played back in my mind only from that particular viewpoint (not necessarily my default/current viewpoint).

If I close my eyes and try to remember that viewpoint, with enough concentration, i can 'trace' and bring my present location to that viewpoint (though doing that takes a lot of brain processing which can leave me exhausted).


View PostHugh, on 23 September 2009 - 12:47 PM, said:

rm76, have you ever tried to remember some event from your past but from a different viewpoint of that space? It's not there right?

Do you have to see it from the correct viewpoint as well?

For example let's label the 4 different views of the house you grew up in: A, B, C, and D.

Try to remember an event from your childhood that happened in view A, from the perspective of view C... it isn't there right?

For me it isn't there because it didn't happen in that parallel world/viewpoint, it happened in this one... :)


I have to think that through, though i can say for sure that any such event wouldn't ring the same bells in my memory if it were not associated with that particular viewpoint.

btw, sometimes excessive viewpoint flipping makes me a bit nauseous - anything like that for you?


#62    Hugh

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 07:31 PM

View Postrm76, on 23 September 2009 - 04:10 PM, said:

Exactly the same for me. In fact, some childhood memories which i cherish happened in a different viewpoint - even today, my memory of those times is played back in my mind only from that particular viewpoint (not necessarily my default/current viewpoint).

Same for me. Every different memory is viewpoint related... it's from only one of the 4 different views... unless it's a memory of a VRI experience lol, then it would involve the different viewpoints involved... :)

View Postrm76, on 23 September 2009 - 04:10 PM, said:

If I close my eyes and try to remember that viewpoint, with enough concentration, i can 'trace' and bring my present location to that viewpoint (though doing that takes a lot of brain processing which can leave me exhausted).

Do you mean you can do a flip of your current surroundings to bring it to the same viewpoint as that in your memory?

I'm able to the majority of the time, but as you say, it takes a lot of thinking to do the flip sometimes, especially if you've only seen that viewpoint once or twice, and especially for me if it's a 90 degree flip.

View Postrm76, on 23 September 2009 - 04:10 PM, said:

btw, sometimes excessive viewpoint flipping makes me a bit nauseous - anything like that for you?

I don't initiate the VRI consciously quickly enough with several flips in rapid succession that it makes me feel nauseous.

Usually the flip is either consciously or automatically done only once or twice.

Sometimes if I'm trying to force a VRI to an abnormal viewpoint it flips but only stays for a second or two then it automatically flips back to the normal/default view.

Sometimes on waking up or opening my eyes everything has flipped around, then it just flips back to normal on its own.

I find it really, really fun to try and hold an abnormal viewpoint as long as I can, because experiencing the new view is like visiting another world.

I remember as a kid having lots of fun going around the house which I knew so well one way, when it had flipped to another way it was like "Wow... this is so cool!" as I explored around each corner it was like a whole new room/dimension/world/universe was there to explore and enjoy... I still love exploring new viewpoints every day... There are 4X the worlds to explore out there available with VRIs. :)

Do you ever do a 180 VRI while driving just for fun? I just did it this afternoon a few times... cool stuff. :)

Hey rm76, have you had a chance to check out the other threads about VRIs?

Have you tried the mirror experiment?

Edited by Hugh, 23 September 2009 - 07:33 PM.


#63    rm76

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 01:07 PM

Sorry for the delay in replying, Hugh. Just recovered from a computer crash.

I am going thru the other threads too, slowly.

VRIs are the reason I'm never bored, because I can just flip and see every object for the first time, again, 3 more times.

I was wondering whether the four viewpoints are set at different timelines, however small the difference might be - I've tried staring at the seconds hand of my wristwatch while i try and continuously flip thru viewpoints (not very scientific, i admit) - haven't got any positive results.
Wouldn't it be interesting if there was some way to find whether the four viewpoints are separated in time (and space) by a few nanoseconds - think of the implications!


An alternative line of thinking leads to me describe this phenomenon as 'Spatial Synesthesia' - maybe it's one of the rarer forms of synesthesia.
('spatial synesthesia' is already in use to refer to a particular kind of synesthesia, but imho, it would be more apt to use that phrase for VRIs.)


Hugh, I saw a poll on another site asking about who's experienced a VRI - am I right in assuming you're the only 'Yes, frequently, and can initiate their occurence consciously.' on http://teamikaria.co...=2&t=468&p=5970 ?

In all your years of posting, how many such people on these boards have you come across?


#64    Hugh

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 09:45 PM

View Postrm76, on 25 September 2009 - 01:07 PM, said:

Sorry for the delay in replying, Hugh. Just recovered from a computer crash.

I am going thru the other threads too, slowly.

No problem, oh ok, and good stuff. :)

View Postrm76, on 25 September 2009 - 01:07 PM, said:

VRIs are the reason I'm never bored, because I can just flip and see every object for the first time, again, 3 more times.

It does make the world much more interesting yes. :)

View Postrm76, on 25 September 2009 - 01:07 PM, said:

I was wondering whether the four viewpoints are set at different timelines, however small the difference might be - I've tried staring at the seconds hand of my wristwatch while i try and continuously flip thru viewpoints (not very scientific, i admit) - haven't got any positive results.
Wouldn't it be interesting if there was some way to find whether the four viewpoints are separated in time (and space) by a few nanoseconds - think of the implications!

I've never experienced any time shift myself either, but if there was one that exists, there would be some interesting implications... especially if there was a way to increase the amount of time shift and end up with the winning lottery numbers in one view, then flip back to another and buy the winning numbers before the draw happens lol. j/k :D

View Postrm76, on 25 September 2009 - 01:07 PM, said:

An alternative line of thinking leads to me describe this phenomenon as 'Spatial Synesthesia' - maybe it's one of the rarer forms of synesthesia.
('spatial synesthesia' is already in use to refer to a particular kind of synesthesia, but imho, it would be more apt to use that phrase for VRIs.)

Synesthesia is "a neurologically based phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway."

As we've found, there are memories associated with each spatial viewpoint, but that seems to be more of a function of the memory happening in that particular viewpoint then there being an 'involuntary experience in a secondary sense'...

It's the same senses and feelings but each associated with their own viewpoint.

The flip happens with the bearing sense... nothing else changes in so far as any other sense, except one's line of sight flipping around as well 90 or 180 degrees.

Upon further reading the Synesthesia page at Wikipedia, it says that:

1.Synesthesia is involuntary and automatic.
2.Synesthetic perceptions are spatially extended, meaning they often have a sense of "location." For example, synesthetes speak of "looking at" or "going to" a particular place to attend to the experience.
3.Synesthetic percepts are consistent and generic (i.e., simple rather than pictorial).
4.Synesthesia is highly memorable.
5.Synesthesia is laden with affect.


I'd agree that VRIs are (sometimes 1.), (always 2.), (likely 3.), (almost always 4. and 5.) would you agree?

View Postrm76, on 25 September 2009 - 01:07 PM, said:

Hugh, I saw a poll on another site asking about who's experienced a VRI - am I right in assuming you're the only 'Yes, frequently, and can initiate their occurence consciously.' on http://teamikaria.co...=2&t=468&p=5970 ?

Yes that was me. :)

That used to be the Tetraspace Forum, founded by Alkaline, but since has changed to the teamikaria forum...

They talk a lot about the Fourth Spatial Dimension there.

View Postrm76, on 25 September 2009 - 01:07 PM, said:

In all your years of posting, how many such people on these boards have you come across?

There was:

A poster called S Lunatic (great name :) ) who was on the original Wellston 4D Forum, who new exactly what the VRI was and was able to do the flips consciously as well.

There is Ann Druffel who wrote the article North is South and East is West who knows what the VRI is but calls them Subjective Direction Flips... she is unable to do the flips consciously as far as I know.

There was a poster called Thigle on the Tetraspace (now teamikaria forum) who tried the mirror experiment and was able to experience the VRI consciously for the first time, and another on the same forum called danielmoore who learned how to do the VRI and wrote "seeing VRI's is one of the most amazing experiences ive had, everything that you are familiar w/ just swaps, the places are still the same but its like viewing it from an intirely different perspective even though you and all the stuff is in the same place that it normally would be."

There are numerous other people in the threads and others I've personally talked to that have experienced types of VRI flips of their bearing sense.

There also is Sharon Roseman on the Developmental Topographical Disorientation forum who knows exactly what a VRI is and feels like, and has been in several articles in newspapers talking about the experience: http://www.mentalhea...elopmental.html "Have you ever found yourself going in circles and unable to find your way in a familiar environment, such as driving through your own neighbourhood? A recently discovered disorder called Selective Developmental Topographical Disorientation explains this phenomenon. “It's like somebody picks up the whole world and sets it back down at a 90-degree angle,” says Sharon Roseman, who has a type of topographical disorder."

This is what it is currently known as in the medical field, and the viewpoint is that seeing VRIs is a type of disorder.

Even in the Wikipedia entry on VRIs, someone has written that they are "caused by brain malfunctions".

My own viewpoint on the matter is that it is an ability, rather than a disability, and I've spent many years of my adult life trying to see how it could have some sort of positive ramifications, especially in science.

I knew instinctively as a child that it could be somehow linked to some sort of other parallel universe/higher dimension because that is how it actually felt.

I think you'd agree. :)

One of my earliest feelings is that it could be some sort of parallel universe travel, and that there were four different universes that existed... (one ++, one +-, one -+ and one -- ) This was probably from when I started to learn about graphing x and y variables on the x and y axes. :)

Also it could involve some kind of matter/antimatter universe travel... probably from seeing that in Star Trek. :)

I had read Rudy Rucker's book about the Fourth Spatial Dimension, and later work by Michio Kaku about higher dimensions and I started to think that higher spatial dimensions could be the answer... earlier in the threads here and in other threads I talk about how it may be possible...

There have been studies by Charles Oman for NASA with tumbling rooms etc to explore VRIs, because astronauts in space experience VRIs about both horizontal axes as well as the vertical axis... here on Earth we only get the vertical axis flips usually.

Walls/ceilings/floors exchange their subjective identities in space with 90 and 180 degree VRIs, while on the ground we only get the walls changing their subjective identities. (this is why North/South/East and West get flipped around).

My whole idea is... If one can see the same surroundings from different directions with a VRI, could that mean that those extra directions actually exist in higher dimensional space - and we, along with the universe, are made of those higher dimensions too?

I mean if scientists like Michio Kaku say that the physics of the universe could be explained if those higher dimensions actually exist, then we should be looking for ways that we experience the space around us in those ways...

If there was a 4th spatial dimension, we would only see a "3D slice" of it right?

Isn't that what we see?

How would we see from that other available axis of direction?

I think it would involve the ability to see the same "3D slice" from different orientational directions, which is what happens with the VRI...

We must remember that if we are made of higher dimensions ourselves, that the tiny particles that we are made up of would have those higher dimensions too, and it would lead to some interesting Necker Cube type of flips between common planes of sight within that higher dimensional space. :)

Edited by Hugh, 25 September 2009 - 10:31 PM.


#65    Hugh

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 05:27 PM

I came across this paper today:

http://dspace.mit.ed....pdf?sequence=1

It's called "SPATIAL ORIENTATION AND NAVIGATION IN MICROGRAVITY"

by Charles M. Oman for the Man Vehicle Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

He did some studies for NASA with regards to Visual Reorientation Illusions (VRIs)

Here are some sections from the document... I've highlighted some of the comments within:

____________________

1. INTRODUCTION

In our normal lives on Earth, gravity furnishes a ubiquitous sensory cue that helps us keep the various self- and world-fixed coordinate frames we use for spatial perception, imagery, and actions in proper registration. We naturally locomote on two dimensional surfaces in a gravitationally upright orientation. Arguably the human nervous system has become somewhat specialized for terrestrial conditions, since – as reviewed in this chapter - astronauts and cosmonauts regularly experience occasional three dimensional orientation and navigation problems while in weightlessness, even long after the initial two to thee day period of susceptibility to space motion sickness has passed. The routine orientation and navigation problems experienced by astronauts probably have more to do with CNS spatial processing, imagery and perception – the central themes of this book – than they do with adaptation in the vestibular end organs or changes in vestibulo-ocular or vestibulo-spinal reflexes.

Dozens of crewmembers have served as subjects in various neurovestibular experiments in orbit. After their missions, all crewmembers are routinely debriefed on their operational experiences. However, only few are questioned in detail about orientation and navigation problems, and some are reluctant to raise the issue. Inevitably much of what is currently known is based on anecdotal but detailed descriptions provided by several dozen crewmembers, many of them scientist astronauts. Weightlessness is a unique environment. Though the reports are anecdotal, there is a great deal that can be learned from them that is of interest to neuroscientists. However some are unpublished, and others are scattered across the scientific and popular literature. My purpose in writing this chapter is to assemble and interpret them, including where possible many direct quotes, though preserving anonymity when required.

The organization of this chapter is straightforward: First, the two principal illusions of weightlessness - the “Visual Reorientation Illusion (VRI) and the “Inversion Illusion”- are described. Next, related extravehicular activity (EVA, or spacewalking) disorientation, height vertigo and 3D navigation problems are discussed. The final sections review several theories and experiments that provide insight into visual and body axis spatial orientation cue interaction, and the mechanisms of reorientation and 3D navigation. Based on evidence in animal models, it is argued that the exchange in subjective identity of floors, ceilings, and walls– one of the unique hallmarks of a Visual Reorientation Illusion - occurs when the CNS navigation reference plane coding azimuth and place erroneously aligns with the wrong spacecraft surface, due to the absence of gravity. Continued susceptibility to VRIs reflects the terrestrial heritage of human orientation, re-orientation and navigation mechanisms. Nonetheless, the crew reports and research reviewed here suggests ways to further reduce spatial orientation and navigation problems through improved spacecraft design and virtual reality based crew training.

1.1 Visual Reorientation Illusions

When an astronaut floats within the cabin of an orbiting spacecraft, the notion of a “gravitational down” is meaningless. Crew typically speak of the “visual down” reference defined by the orientation of surrounding wall, ceiling and floor surfaces, typically comprised of labeled racks and panels, readily recognizable from prior experience in ground simulators. In order to know which way to look or reach for remembered objects, or to move about in the cabin, astronauts must visually recognize landmark objects and surfaces, and correctly infer their self-orientation with respect to the cabin. Normally this process is automatic and effortless when they work with their feet oriented towards the familiar cabin floor. However, Skylab (Cooper, 1976; Johnston and Dietlein, 1977) and Spacelab astronauts (Oman et al, 1984, 1986, 87) reported that when moving about the cabin they frequently experienced disorientation. Two of the most common situations were when working upside down (relative to their normal 1-G orientation in training), or when floating right side up but viewing another crewmember floating upside down in the cabin. In either case, crew often experienced the striking illusion that the surrounding walls, ceiling, and floors had somehow exchanged identities. In the first situation, whichever surface was closest to their feet seemed like a generic floor. Surfaces approximately parallel to their body now seemed like walls, and overhead surfaces were perceived as ceilings. In the second situation, the orientation of the inverted crewmember determined the direction to the “floor”. In both cases, it was as if an internal mental coordinate frame responsible for perception of surface identity had rotated into a new orientation determined by available visual cues. Since the crew often felt “right side up” after such visual reorientations, we (Oman et al, 1987) termed these phenomena “Visual Reorientation Illusions” (VRI), in order to distinguish them from the less commonly experienced “Inversion Illusion”, detailed in Sect 2.2, wherein crew always feel continuously gravitationally upside down.

Sometimes the reorientation illusions were subtle, and crew were not aware of them till they reached or looked for a remembered object, or turned in the wrong direction. More often, the change in orientation perception was dramatic.

One Skylab crewmember described it this way: “It was a strange sensation. You see brand-new things…It’s really like a whole new room that you walk into…with the lights underneath your feet, and it’s just an amazing situation to find yourself in”. Another noted “All one has to do is to rotate one’s body to [a new] orientation and whammo ! What one thinks is up is up”. “It’s a feeling as though one could take this whole room and, by pushing a button, just rotate it around so that the ceiling up here would be the floor. It’s a marvelous feeling of power over space – over the space around one (Cooper, 1976). A third said: “Being upside down in the wardroom made it look like a different room than the one we were used to. After rotating back to approximately 45 degrees or so of the attitude which we normally called “up”, the attitude in which we had trained, there was a sharp transition in the mind from a room which was sort of familiar to one which was intimately familiar…We observed this phenomenon throughout the whole flight.”. Another commented: “I can move into a given room sideways or upside down and not recognize it. You would tend to get locked into one frame of reference. When you rotated your body to another one, it took a little time for the transition to occur” (Johnston and Deitlein, 1977).

Areas of Skylab that had locally incongruent visual vertical cues also triggered VRIs, depending on where the astronaut was working or directed their visual attention. For example, the Skylab Multiple Docking Adapter (MDA) tunnel had a cylindrical interior, and control panels to operate telescopes and other systems mounted on the walls in a variety of different orientations. The MDA was deliberately designed this way because it provided an efficient use of wall space, and to determine whether crews could get along without a single visual vertical (Cooper, 1976). The almost unanimous verdict was that crews disliked working there. One said: “It is one of the biggest mysteries in the world when you go in there to find something.” Another commented “There’s been some thought about mounting some furniture on the floor, some on the walls, some on the ceiling, but this doesn’t work out. You tend to orient yourself when you’re in a room, even though you’re in zero-g, and when you orient yourself, you should find everything is the same.” (Johnston and Deitlein, 1977).

In the early 1980s, our MIT laboratory began to develop experiments on vestibular function, spatial disorientation and motion sickness which ultimately flew on four US Shuttle Spacelab missions between 1983 and 1993. The science crew of the first mission included a Skylab astronaut (O. Garriott) who introduced us to these during illusions during repeated intervals of weightlessness on parabolic training flights. At our request, the crews made detailed notes on pocket voice recorders once they reached orbit. They documented for us in considerable detail the numerous circumstances that triggered orientation illusions aboard the Shuttle, emphasizing the previously unrecognized contribution of the illusions in causing space motion sickness. We summarized their reports in a series of papers (Oman et al, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988). Our crews noted that the change subjective identity of surrounding surfaces was a perceptually distinct event. In this respect VRIs resemble other types of figure-ground illusions, except that what is being reinterpreted is the identity of surrounding surfaces, and implicitly, the viewer’s own allocentric orientation with respect to an unseen environment beyond. VRIs typically occur spontaneously, but as with figure ground illusions, onset depends on visual attention and is therefore under cognitive control. One commented: “If you really want a surface to be “down”, you can just look at it and decide that it is”. Architectural symmetries and prior visual experience were important predisposing factors. For example, they noted that they frequently experienced VRIs when in the Shuttle flight deck, while the mid-deck beneath, or in the tunnel connecting the mid-deck to the Spacelab laboratory module. However, in the laboratory module, it usually required deliberate effort to make the ceiling and floor reverse, and making a wall seem like a compelling ceiling or floor was even more difficult. The crew noted that the mid-deck and tunnel areas had strong architectural symmetries, and that the science members of the crew had they received far less preflight training in the flight deck, mid-deck, and tunnel than the Spacelab laboratory module. They were intimately familiar the arrangement of the laboratory interior from two years of ground training in a high fidelity mockup. The implication was that visual vertical and surface identity cues are not entirely physically intrinsic, but depend on prior visual experience and familiarity with the spatial layout. Usually the only way to spontaneously experience a VRI while in the Spacelab laboratory was to float with feet towards the ceiling, or view a crewmember who was working that way.

Views of the Earth through the windows also provided powerful orienting cues. One of our Spacelab crewmembers commented: “Generally the visual verticals [in the laboratory module] kept me upright and oriented, and if I were to go and look out the window generally I would move myself around so that the Earth was down below me just so it was easier to see and understand where we were.. If I was upside down I would come away from there and for several seconds look around. The first time you think: things are kind of strange and misplaced, like the air lock is sitting on the floor or on the side or something. But as soon as I saw one familiar thing like the airlock then I was able to figure out where I was in relation to the Spacelab.” This crewmember added that “working on the [inward] slanting panels on the upper half [of the laboratory module walls], let’s say you are...pulling out a [stowage] box to get things out, and it wasn’t more than a couple of seconds than the [upper panel] would become vertical to me, and I would look down and I’d see the [lower panel] wall.coming out at an angle, slanting in towards me, and it was ..a very strange sensation.”

To some degree, non-astronauts can appreciate the VRI phenomenon simply by viewing rotated photographs (e.g. Figs 1-3), but astronauts and parabolic flight participants who have experienced 0-G VRIs firsthand say that when the gravity cue is truly physically absent, and the scene is real, the perceptual change in surface identity is far more distinct and the perceived self-orientation change far more compelling than when simply viewing a photograph.

As detailed in Section 4.6, visual reorientation, path integration and place recognition are the fundamental modes underlying navigation in humans and many animals. In our everyday lives on Earth, our gravireceptive organs provide an absolute vertical orientation reference. Our semicircular canals contribute to our sense of direction, but cannot provide a corresponding absolute azimuth reference. Hence our sense of direction and place ultimately must be updated – reoriented - by visual cues.

We all occasionally experience “direction vertigo” (Viguer, 1882; Jonsson, 2002), for example when we emerge from a subway, realize we are not facing in the expected direction, and reorient. However, living on Earth all our visual reorientations can occur only in azimuth since gravity anchors our perceptions of pitch and roll. Our sense of azimuthal direction reorients, but ceilings and floors do not change subjective identity the way they do for astronauts. At most we say the wall we thought faced west actually is actually the one facing east.
____________________

I can identify with the comment that I highlighted from the astronaut "It’s a marvelous feeling of power over space – over the space around one."

It's a feeling that I've always had about VRIs, that one can see the space around oneself from any direction that one wants to.

It's also why I feel that if there are those extra directions of space to ourselves and the space around us, that those extra directions actually exist.

Aale de Winkel made an interesting point on the old Tetraspace forum when he said: "I doubt very much that tetra-vision would be the same as x-ray-vision.

Tetronians will not be able to see within a trionian body, they see the lightrays reflecting off a body just in a direction more then we trionians do!"


I think that we all might actually be at least Tetronian (4D), if not more... and that VRIs are an indication of it. :)


#66    .i.

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 08:25 AM

Man I thought I understood this, but now I have no clue what you are talking about... :unsure2:

The 180 degree flip, does it make things that are on the left side of your view to appear on the right side??? :blink:

Posted Image

#67    .i.

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 10:22 AM

Forget my above post, I couldnt edit it so a made a new.

I thought you were just talking about what we sense to be our directions in space... And then I got confused when I saw this picture...

Posted Image

Does a 180 degree flip actually do this? Then writtings should be hard to read, it will be like reading something that you wrote on a window from the other side. "can you confirm this?" And wouldnt 90 degree then be like looking at a piece of paper from the side?, very thin that is.

And what does the necker cube has to do with all this??? Like I wasent enough confused already... :blink:

My understanding is that I'm hearing different things here about what VRI is and that confuses me... :unsure2:

Edited by .i., 10 November 2009 - 10:25 AM.

Posted Image

#68    Hugh

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 06:01 PM

View Post.i., on 10 November 2009 - 10:22 AM, said:

Does a 180 degree flip actually do this? Then writtings should be hard to read, it will be like reading something that you wrote on a window from the other side. "can you confirm this?" And wouldnt 90 degree then be like looking at a piece of paper from the side?, very thin that is.
The 180 degree flip just picks up the room (and universe) you are in and turns it around 180 degrees, facing the other direction.

It's as if you're sitting in that theater facing one way, then it gets turned around facing in the opposite direction in an instant.

Everything around you is the same, the writing is still the same way to you, it's just that you're now facing the screen in the opposite direction. :)

View Post.i., on 10 November 2009 - 10:22 AM, said:

And what does the necker cube has to do with all this??? Like I wasent enough confused already... :blink:

The necker cube is similar in that it is an instant flip type of phenomenon.

You can see it one way, then change your viewpoint and see it flipped around the other way in an instant.

With VRIs, one can flip around one's viewpoint of where they are in a similar instant way.

There is an extremely interesting thing that Rudy Rucker has talked about called a "Neck-a-Cube".

It is detailed here: http://repo-nt.tcc.v...ourdim/how.html

Here is the outline from that page:
____________________

How Does One Obtain the Ability to "See" in Four Spatial Dimensions?
                    
Now that what a fourth dimension is and why it is important to pursue have been discussed, how does one come to understand and ultimately “see” four dimensions?  While it is up to the interested reader to more fully pursue this on his or her own, the following are a few techniques that can be taken as starting points.
                    
One technique is similar to a craft that many children have made at one time or another.  To construct a cube out of paper, one takes a sheet and uses one of eleven possible templates (Figure 7) to build the cube.  One then cuts out the template and folds it up.  To do this with a hypercube would require mastery of four dimensions, however the reverse can be approached with relative ease.  Instead of folding six squares into a cube, one unfolds a hypercube into eight cubes.  One example of this unfolding is depicted in Figure 8.  These unfoldings can give greater meaning to the hypercube depicted in Figure 5.
    
An illusionist named Jerry Andrus developed a pattern that he calls a Parabox.  It is similar to a Necker cube.  The Necker cube is the two-dimensional representation of a cube that switches back and forth in orientation.  The Parabox is a three-dimensional analog.  Mathematician and writer Rudy Rucker adapted this design for use in helping visualize four dimensions.  The following are his directions in making what he calls a Neck-A-Cube (Figure 9):


1. Trace figure (a larger version appears in Appendix C).
2. Cut out around outline.
3. Crease line AC, and then crease line DE.  Each time crease by folding the marked surfaces together.
4. Slit from A to B.
5. Slide one of the upper “squares” behind the other to make something like the corner of a room where walls meet ceiling.  Cup the object in your right hand.
6. Close one eye and stare at the corner.  “Pull” at the corner till Necker reversal takes place.
7. Once the object is solidly reversed, try moving your hand around.
8. If you have trouble getting the illusion, make sure that the model is uniformly lit (so that shadows don’t provide depth cues); and make sure to hold it still until Necker reversal has taken place.  


                   This exercise seeks to lead the viewer to the realization that the concepts such as left-right and up-down are relative.  This helps to loosen one’s mental conditioning, which helps in visualizing 4-D objects just by themselves.

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The interesting thing though, is that the VRI is an actual, real-life similar type of flip, which is why I think it could be related to seeing existing, higher dimensions. :)

Edited by Hugh, 10 November 2009 - 06:07 PM.


#69    .i.

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 11:30 PM

View PostHugh, on 10 November 2009 - 06:01 PM, said:

The 180 degree flip just picks up the room (and universe) you are in and turns it around 180 degrees, facing the other direction.

It's as if you're sitting in that theater facing one way, then it gets turned around facing in the opposite direction in an instant.

Everything around you is the same, the writing is still the same way to you, it's just that you're now facing the screen in the opposite direction. :)
I'm guessing that you are looking from the same view as from the picture? So all left becomes your right? Except your bodys right and left? So stuff in the theater is actually teleported from your left to your right facing the other way and you can still read everything as if it wasent really a true 180 degree flip? If that is true then it would be more like jumping to another parallel universe where everything is the same but the other way around.

And the cube seems more like an optic illusion rather then rearranging the fabric of space.

Edited by .i., 10 November 2009 - 11:40 PM.

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#70    Hugh

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 01:43 AM

View Post.i., on 10 November 2009 - 11:30 PM, said:

I'm guessing that you are looking from the same view as from the picture? So all left becomes your right? Except your bodys right and left? So stuff in the theater is actually teleported from your left to your right facing the other way and you can still read everything as if it wasent really a true 180 degree flip? If that is true then it would be more like jumping to another parallel universe where everything is the same but the other way around.

Well, when I made that movie theater picture, I only had one picture originally, so in order to get the 180 degree flip, I simply reversed it.

In reality though, with a VRI, only the viewing direction gets flipped around, there is no perceived reversal of left/right, so if you are looking at words on the screen then they don't get reversed, nor do your right and left hand, only the viewing direction.

This brings up an interesting point.

When I first talked to Rudy Rucker about this phenomenon, he said that a turn in the fourth spatial dimension would reverse someone...

One's right side and left would get reversed, and he actually had written a story about this...

He asked if I experience such a reversal with the VRI and I said no, my right and left hand stay the same, but, I asked "If everything in the universe got turned around, including my body and everything was reversed, would I notice a difference?"

At that point there was an "ah" moment, where I think he understood... if everything gets reversed, you wouldn't notice the difference because what you would be looking with would be reversed along with what was reversed.

I'd like to mention a point I made earlier about what Alex Bogomolny said about the tesseract (a 4D cube) here:

http://www.maa.org/e.../tesseract.html (all highlighting done by me)
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"A segment, as a portion of a line (a 1-dimensional space), is bounded by two points, each a 0-dimensional object. A 2-dimensional square is bounded by 4 1-dimensional segments. A 3-dimensional cube is bounded by 6 2-dimensional squares. A 4-dimensional tesseract is bounded by 8 3-dimensional cubes.

In a horizontal plane, a square has an upside and a downside. Only one is visible when its rotation is confined to the plane. In the 3-dimensional space both sides are in principle visible. In 3D, a cube has an inside and an outside. However it is turned in the 3-dimensional space, only its outside is visible, the inside remains hidden. In 4D, a cube can be turned inside out by rotating around one of its 2-dimensional faces. That's right. In 2D, we can only rotate a shape around a point. In 3D, we can also rotate around a 1-dimensional axis - for example, an edge in the case of a cube. In 4D, a shape can be rotated around a plane. (In the above applet one can clearly observe the phenomenon by fixing the location of the origin.) It must be understood that in 4D a 3-dimensional cube has neither inside nor outside. All points of a cube are as much exposed in 4D as are the points of a square in 3D. (This is what makes a prospect of 4D-travel so unpleasant. It also follows from the above that 4D-travel is extremely dangerous. Back in 3D, a traveller may find himself in a state of excessive introversion.)

Vacuously, in a square there is only 1 square that contains a given edge. In a cube, every edge is shared by 2 squares. In a tesseract, 3 squares meet at every edge. Taken pairwise, squares through the same edge define three cubes. Detecting the three cubes seems akin to shifting a view point when observing the Necker cube.

I found this observation useful when playing with the applet below. What is it about? Travelling in 4D may have a milder effect on a 3D body than turning it inside out. It may only change its orientation."


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View Post.i., on 10 November 2009 - 11:30 PM, said:

And the cube seems more like an optic illusion rather then rearranging the fabric of space.
Well, if there are actual higher dimensions of space, then what we are made up of and what we are looking at has those higher dimensions as well.

String theory suggests that there are higher dimensions to everything.

What would our experience of them be?

Possibly it would involve the ability to view our surroundings from more directions than we would think possible in only our perceived 3D space.

We would have all these extra angles to every part of us and so would the universe around us.

We wouldn't have to rearrange the fabric of space around us to see it from different angles, just view it from that other direction.

Interestingly enough, in 4D, there are shared 2D planes along the edges of the 4D cube, just as there are shared 1D lines along the edges of a 3D cube.

Here's a diagram I came up with that shows how the same 2D plane of vision can be seen from two different axes in 4D:

Posted Image

Food for thought... :)


#71    .i.

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 02:45 AM

I see, seems like a very complex thing, I guess I have to experience this myself to get a better understanding. :mellow:

I let you know about my experience if I succeed.

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#72    Hugh

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 03:51 AM

View Post.i., on 11 November 2009 - 02:45 AM, said:

I see, seems like a very complex thing, I guess I have to experience this myself to get a better understanding. :mellow:

I let you know about my experience if I succeed.
Great! I hope you can experience it .i., the movie theater is the easiest place for me.

Try to arrive 20 minutes or more before the movie starts and just think of being in another theater that you've previously been in that faces in the opposite direction...

Just relax and think of being in the other theater...

During the movie, every 10 minutes or so, just become aware of which direction that you are facing the screen in, relative to how it was when the movie started...

For many people, the VRI happens during the movie, without even trying to make it happen.

Awareness is key.

Good luck and please report back with any experiences! :)


#73    Lcvec

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 07:02 PM

View PostHugh, on 11 November 2009 - 03:51 AM, said:

Great! I hope you can experience it .i., the movie theater is the easiest place for me.

Try to arrive 20 minutes or more before the movie starts and just think of being in another theater that you've previously been in that faces in the opposite direction...

Just relax and think of being in the other theater...

During the movie, every 10 minutes or so, just become aware of which direction that you are facing the screen in, relative to how it was when the movie started...

For many people, the VRI happens during the movie, without even trying to make it happen.

Awareness is key.

Good luck and please report back with any experiences! :)

I wonder if it's easier because you can't actually see the floor/walls very clearly, making it easier for you to think you are in a different position. I don't have any movie theatres here where I live, so I will have to try something else...Is it possible to do it in a room or a small place and do i have to imagine the view from the different angle while looking at one direction until that becomes my actual view? Sounds impossible to me, but once things are more clear I might be able to do it (nothing I tried has worked so far)


#74    Hugh

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 08:46 PM

View PostLcvec, on 11 November 2009 - 07:02 PM, said:

I wonder if it's easier because you can't actually see the floor/walls very clearly, making it easier for you to think you are in a different position. I don't have any movie theatres here where I live, so I will have to try something else...Is it possible to do it in a room or a small place and do i have to imagine the view from the different angle while looking at one direction until that becomes my actual view? Sounds impossible to me, but once things are more clear I might be able to do it (nothing I tried has worked so far)
There is a way that I've found to actually see the rotated around view that you are trying to flip in to using two mirrors, a hand held one - held at a 90 degree angle to a wall mirror...

I talked about it in previous posts #19 and #26 in the other VRI thread:

http://www.unexplain...dpost&p=3006796

and

http://www.unexplain...dpost&p=3009654

Here is a diagram showing how to hold the mirror:

Posted Image
[/size]

Let me know if you need clearer instructions.


#75    Lcvec

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 09:48 PM

View PostHugh, on 11 November 2009 - 08:46 PM, said:

There is a way that I've found to actually see the rotated around view that you are trying to flip in to using two mirrors, a hand held one - held at a 90 degree angle to a wall mirror...

I talked about it in previous posts #19 and #26 in the other VRI thread:

http://www.unexplain...dpost&p=3006796

and

http://www.unexplain...dpost&p=3009654

Here is a diagram showing how to hold the mirror:

Posted Image
[/size]

Let me know if you need clearer instructions.

Thanks for that, I'll give it a try once I get the right tools. One thing that would help me do it by myself is to know something: Do you see anything you can't see in your normal view? Or is it just a feeling that you are in a different position but your actual view doesn't change anything. The main problem I think is that I don't know where to look at when trying to do a "conscious" VRI, I usually just focus on something I can see but nothing happens. Any ideas on this?





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