Hollow masks

Baffle your brain with the famous 'hollow mask illusion', and experiment with how it works by making your own.

a girl holds up a large papier maché mask
Eva's hollow mask, Image credit: The Royal Institution


Make your own hollow mask illusion.

ExpeRiment with the way we see faces.

Learn how our expectations can override what we are actually seeing.

About this activity

Rachel and her children Eva and Daniel explore how our brains perceive faces by experimenting with a classic illusion. Here's the original illusion to show your children before starting the activity:

In this activity, Eva and Daniel investigate what factors make this illusion work, and think about why our brains can be tricked in this way. Hands-on investigations like this are the perfect way to encourage children to think about how their brains work, and the way we interpret the world.