Senses and perception

By our senses we perceive the world. They define our living. The experience stations in the exhibition „spirit stations“ for example, invite you to discover and undergo your senses.

Ames Room

The “Ames Room” is known for its noticeable deception of the dimension’s constancy. Out of a specified perspective, two persons with the same height seem different sized. The reason for this optical illusion is in the construction of the rear wall and the window, which let the room appears normal and rectangular. But in real the left edge is almost twice as far off from the eye of the viewer as the right. This great exhibit can be more attractive with furniture, camera and a monitor or a designed exterior wall.

Animated Film

On the screen you can assemble given pictures with the mouse to an image sequence. You can play it by selectable speed. By sufficient speed our vision system connects the single images to a flowing move- exactly like in a flip book, TV, video, in the cinema or in computer games and computer animations.

Apparently the same

How hard it can actually be to differentiate two colours! Two similar colours (here grey) seem identic, as long as the transition is covered. The difference comes to light, when the border between the two areas is visible.


A balancer joist invites, to challenge your balance senses. Is it easier to trust your feelings and to balance yourself or to watch each step precise?

Barefoot Boxes

Here, your flair of your feet is in demand! For the most of us barefoot walking is often missed out. So, you can savour your acute sense of touch on base kind materials- why not with closed eyes?

Barrel Movie

When we see a sequence of graphics, we can not see each picture, when the speed is to high. We see a flowing movement. For this purpose, it is important to have a clear separation of the images. This principle is used in cinemas and TV. There are various different mechanisms, to reach an apparent movement of proper static images- beginning with a simple flip book.


In this room occurs a bizarre view. You can see only the head from the other people around you- on the salver, served for the meal! Maybe an illusion?

Breathing Square

We scarcely can watch the rotation of a one coloured circle disk around its centre, because it looks the same in each position. In a square we recognize such a rotation by the motions of the rand and assume, because of our experiences, that the inner moves with it.  When you hide the rand partially, the visible fragments are not enough for our vision system to get the rotation of a square. Though it seems to throb, since depending on the orientation of the square there is more or less visible.

Caesar's Code

Here you can learn an old encryption method- easy and effective. The name dates back to the roman commander Gaius Julius Caesar, who used this secret communication for military purpose. It states, that Caesar used a shift about three letters in the alphabet, but the number is variable as long as the recipient knows it!

Crooked Cabin

A number of experiments inside the cabin make the visitor impressive aware of how easily our sense of balance can be fooled by our vision system: balls are seeming to roll upward, a free movable rod apparently hangs lopsided down, a chair with a complete horizontal seating surface seems to be strongly inclined.

Equal or Unequal?

Human perceive sizes not absolutely, more relatively. They are always set in relation to neighboured dimensions. In “Equal and Unequal” the greater length of the outer bow is often misunderstood.

Estimate the Meter

The task is to place the arrow in a distance from 30cm, 50cm and 100cm from the starting point. By pushing the button, you can see the right distance. A comparison of the estimate from persons of a group are thrilling!

Find the Centre

Sometimes it is hard to estimate distances right, because neighboured distances are noticed to. The elastic strap over the blue trapezoid has to be pulled to the lower edge, so the strap sections left and right from the finger are equal. The skewness of the trapezoid irritates enormous, so you guess most times totally wrong. As astounding as this is the other experiment, where you have to slide the angle directly in the middle of the metal rod. Its ends are namely far off from the ends of the left angle as of the right angle. The up-laying measure serves for the review of the own assessment.

Humming Cauldron

Who sticks his head into the erosion of the boiler and bumbles in different voices, finds his sound, which causes resonance and harmonic vibration from had to foot. Thereby you dive into your own closed world.

Hyperbolic Slot

Can a straight rod rotate around his axis and pass a curved slit?  It looks like it cannot, but it actually passes easy and with drive! Thus, it is fixed oblique, the rod ends are further from the axis of rotation, than from the middle of the bar. That means, that the slit ends have to be further from the rotation axis, than the middle of the slit- therefore the curved form!

Identifying People

Various pairs of eyes look contrary to you. Many of them are known immediately or can be called. And exactly this is the challenge in this exhibit. Each pair of eyes has to be sorted to a character. It is surprising how many celebrities you can spot by looking at their eyes.

Impossible E / Blooming

Our vision system is exercised to gather three-dimensional information out of two dimensional images. The “Impossible E” exists out of two partial pictures: the reflection of the three dimensional “E” and the reflection of the four horizontally boards. Although they fit together by colour, they reveal no consistent overall picture, because the same black colour stands for a gap in the one picture and for a black area in the other.

Jungle of Ropes

From the outside relative inconspicuous, the strap wood offers a corporeal impressive experience. You can feel the impression of the pressure by the heaviness of the straps on your whole body.

Kids Mangle

The kids mangle gives the chance to improve the self- perception or just the opportunity to play. The kids mangle effects a positive and pleasant self- assessment sensation. It has a high invitation character and is fun for everyone.

Mirror Book

Similar to a kaleidoscope you can create limitless patterns with the mirror book- but here it can be viewed from everyone standing around! The mirror images can vary by smallest changes by opening the “book”, as well as selection and position of the particles.

Mirror Pictures

Sundry boards with “curious” images on it can be placed around a cylinder or caper shaped mirror columns and so, it is exempt of its unrecognizable condition. Out of distorted images develop equalized images and familiar appearances.

Möbius Strip

Everything has two sides, right? Not at all. The Möbius strip proves the opposite. Here a magnetic car drives on the strip from the inside to the outside and vice versa, without withdrawing.  You can form easily a model, by twisting a piece of paper and connecting the paper ends, so it occurs a ribbon. The Möbius strip is founded by the mathematicians August Ferdinand Möbius and Johan Benedict Listing.

Odour Bouquet

In those ten protected flacons are different flavours. A refreshment should happen every three months, thereby you can change the flavours. Here is new material for happy puzzle and some conversations.


Amixtureof embossed printing and the game “Mix Max”! How sensible are your fingers? Can they recognize imprints easily? If not, you will still have fun- for the viewers on the reverse: here emerge funny figures!


On the screen are two red disks contributed, which are moving with an adjustable speed from the upper screen edges to the edges towards them. When they meet in the middle, they seem to move one above the other. But rungs out a “Pling” in this moment the situation is interpreted as a clash with rebound. In percipience our senses work together. When the ear hears a crash, our eye sees one too.

Pupil Observation

Why not looking each other deep in the eye? The pupil determines the amount of lightning, which falls in our eye. It sets itself automatically in dependence to the brightness, like an automatically aperture from a camera. The brightness of a lamp can be set with the controller and the changes in the eye can be observed in a magnifying mirror.


In this attractive exhibit old and young can form ball valve like they want to, which can be always formed into new ways for the rolling disks.

Rotating Cube

On a ground glass you can see the shadow of a rotating cube grid. Although our vision system interprets this flat image as three dimensional, it is not able to recognize the rotating direction- by the projection this information is lost, so sometimes you recognize the one, then the other rotation direction. A view through the rear transparent glass plate reveals the real conditions.

Rotating Discs

The three rotating disks show, how easily our sense of sight can be deceived. The black and the white rings seem three dimensional- like you would look into a tunnel. In a second variant the black stripes seem to become different coloured rings.

Rotating Pictures

An old child`s play, the “Thaumatrop” is the underlying idea of this exhibit. Here, the so-called “wonder disk” is moved into rotation. In the eye of the viewer the images merge on both sides of the rotating disk- an optical illusion.

Sensing Temperature

Touch the plates from different materials and feel the temperatures! Although all plates have the same temperature, they feel different warm.

Size Difference

Depending on where you place the second magnetic figure in the image, the figure seems bigger or smaller as the one in the foreground. Firstly, our eye has the comparison because of the perspectival drawing, on the other hand we have experienced, that things are getting smaller with distance. The ‘logical’ conclusion seems to be: The rear figure is bigger…

Slanting Chair

A lopsided frame out of random connected, thin stainless- steel rods looks similar to a chair! Just from one point and from a special height you can recognize the form of a straight chair.

Steam Rings

To let out fuming rings- many smokers impress their fellow humans while doing that. In this exhibit everyone has the ability, to create fuming rings and afterwards watching them before a black background.

Tactile Box

Each sense experience, each approach is a cautious approach. A highlight: Literally you can bring light in the dark after your tactical experience and prove your solution.

Touching Trail

Under the grope way are sundry objects installed. Here you focus on your sense of touch: Which form and surface has the object? How soft is it and how does it feel? Which material can you recognize on your fingers?

Tracking Sound

One person listens with both ears on the ends of a hose, which hands down from the exhibit. One additional person knocks with a wooden stick somewhere on the hose. The initiated sound needs more time to the one ear (except you tap exactly in the middle of the hose), than to the other, so you get the impression, that the sound comes from a particular direction.


Trickle Panel

A rotation on the board actuates a mixture of two different coloured sands, thus it ripples, pulsating like the blood in the veins and heart, through fine hopper openings. Mountains and valleys infused with periodic, two coloured stratifications on the one side and ever- increasing erosions on the other side. A stimulating experience by permanent new formations.

Turning Heads

The most people know those pictures for sure, which follow you while passing. In this exhibit it seems, that the whole head is moving in the direction of the passing people.

View into the Depth

How deep is the room? Or better said, the shaft! A great competition for the senses and an unusual perspective.

Weather Organ

Here you can create known sounds and listen to it- maybe with closed eyes, so your feeling and concentration are higher. They remind you of sounds of well-known weather phenomena.

Weight Illusion

When you first take a small and after a bigger bottle in your hand, the smaller one seems a lot heavier. But the scale shows, that both bottles are the same weight. Here it gets clear, that our perception connects our purpose sensation with our previous experiences. We are expecting a certain weight, when we see the small bottle. The unexpected high weight is overinterpreted.

Wiggly Wall

You try to stand on one leg with the distance of a half metre before the wobbling wall! To hold the balance without the support of the other leg is a real challenge! For our orientation in a room is from a big meaning as well as our sense of sight. In front of the wobbling wall our eyes and our balance senses supply different signals.