This paper is an adaptation of the introduction to a book project by the late Mitchell J. Feigenbaum (1944–2019). While Feigenbaum is certainly mostly known for his theory of period doubling cascades, he had a lifelong interest in optics. His book project is an extremely original discussion of the apparently very simple study of anamorphs, that is, the reflections of images on a cylindrical mirror. He observed that there are two images to be seen in the tube and discovered that the brain preferentially chooses one of them. I edited and wrote an introduction to this planned book. As the book is still not published, I have now adapted my introduction as a standalone article so that some of Feigenbaum’s remarkable work will be accessible to a larger audience.

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