"I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind."
― Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Mind tricks are not just a source of entertainment, they also help us delve into the complexities of the human mind. Through different tricks, the mind is exercised and various aspects of its functioning are understood. Many of the mind tricks are based on illusions created by our senses. One can use different mind tricks and puzzles for entertainment as well as educational purposes. Most of these are optical illusions.

Various mind tricks and illusions are presented in the following paragraphs. These tricks prove to be good brain exercises, in addition to their entertainment value.

Optical Illusions

An optical illusion is a condition in which the eye perceives or sees images that are different from what they are actually. The following examples give us a rough idea about what optical illusions actually are.

A Pyramid or Not?
Birds illusion
Do you See Birds?
Primerose field
Primerose Field
Illusion of a bulge
Do you See a Bulge?

Pyramid Pillar Illusion
In this optical illusion, the structure of the pyramid could appear hollow from one angle. The actual pyramidal shape is not visible due to the illusion created by our eyes. A similar illusion can be experienced in images too.

Birds' Illusion
The birds' illusion is created by a pattern of pictures of birds. The spaces between the pictures of these birds resemble the shape of birds; however, the pattern is automatically created without any attempt to make it the way it looks.

Primerose's Field
An optical illusion created by Akiyoshi Kitaoka, Primerose's field is formed of pictures of Primeroses at vertices of squares. The pattern creates an illusion of a wave and is also one of the more amazing mind tricks.

A Bulge
The 'Bulge' is a pattern created in a checkered board format. It is an optical illusion created by drawing smaller squares in the bigger squares which are at the center of the design. The lines formed by these patterned squares appear to be slanting and thus, an optical illusion of a bulge is created.

Problem-solving Techniques

The information presented in the following paragraphs deal with how to solve these mind tricks and puzzles, and in the process of solving them, how we can use them in problem-solving in our day-to-day lives.

Motivational Mind Trick
Solving motivational mind tricks ensures that the mind is motivated to take some action by thinking and talking about it positively. Writing down thoughts also help in motivating the mind. The technique appears to be simple; however, it works wonders. The technique or trick, whatever it is, has the potential to actually change the chemicals that affect the thought process in question.

Memory Trick
Memory tricks are used to remember or memorize many things at a time. For example, if one has to memorize words such as pen, bag, book, school, etc., a nice and short story can be woven around these words. Perfectly fitting these words in the story automatically stores them in the memory. Repeating the story a few times makes sure that these words are kept in the memory for a long time. Solving memory tricks using such a kind of technique can be used in our everyday lives as well.

Mathematics Trick
The subject of mathematics or maths, as is it commonly referred, provides endless possibilities to devise newer tricks. The following trick would help in easing out the calculations to some extent. It is not easy to calculate the product of 157 and 14, i.e., 157×14 in quick time, unless one has a calculator. The procedure can be made easy by dividing this arithmetic problem in two parts, i.e., (160×14) - (3×14).

The tricks and illusions presented above provide us with some entertaining stuff to enjoy. They also help in understanding the basics of functioning of our mind and brain.