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By on March 26, 2012, with 57 Comments

Motion Induced BlindnessWhat you’ll experience today may ring a bell, as we already featured something similar (yet not as good) in the past. But let me first explain what all the fuss is about:

On your right you can see an animated gif featuring a rotating array of blue crosses and 3 yellow dots. Your single assignment for today is to fixate on the centre and just focus on the flashy green spot. Note that the yellow dots have disappeared after a while – either one by one, or in pairs simultaneously. At one point they even start reappearing randomly!

So where’s the illusion, you may ask? Well, the beauty is that all of the three yellow dots are continuously present on the screen! This effect already got its name, and is called “Motion Induced Blindness”, or MIB in short.

While steady fixation favours disappearance, blinks or gaze shifts induce reappearance. All in all what we have here is reminiscent of the Troxler effect, but much stronger and more resistant to residual eye movements.

What happens if you focus your sight on one of the yellow dots, instead? Think this would also work with different colors? How about different elements and movement? Anyone willing to make a different kind of animation and test it out? Be sure to share your example and results with rest of us! BTW, click on the animation above to see it in higher-res! There you may find few more versions of this optical illusion as well..

Comments

57 Responses
  1. KMR says:

    First!
    great illusion

  2. owen says:

    very cool. ( 1st comment YYYYAAAAAYYYYY)

  3. Scott says:

    Wow. It really works.

  4. Slammer says:

    I managed to get the top two dots to disappear, but the constant movement is distracting, and I can’t keep my eyes still long enough to get the last one to go. I think it would work better if the dot in the middle wasn’t flashing, was bigger, and the central cross was removed.

  5. Scott says:

    I also notice that the green dot jumps to my right (this might depend on the viewer)

    Does anyone with a dominant left eye notice it changes to the left?

  6. Steve says:

    Awesome!

  7. Ash says:

    Really cool =) When I focus on the yellow dots the green one seems to skip a little bit XP
    FTP lol

    • Richard says:

      I was going to post a reply saying the same thing. If you stare at one of the yellow dots – the pattern of jumping changes.

  8. Roberto Sainz Canovi says:

    EXCELENTE

  9. why me!?!? says:

    for me, at some point they disappear one by one. then after that they keep popping up! this is very cool!

  10. Excalibur says:

    yes, it is very cool. :D

  11. why me!?!? says:

    as i stare at the green dot the yellow dots just seem to pop back up,, one at a time. this is very cool!

  12. Excalibur says:

    Yes, This Is Very Cool Indeed!! :D

  13. eric says:

    not bad – but the bottom one never disappears…
    i think the description is missing the whole blind spot notion (hence they never all disappear at once)

  14. Jigille says:

    Love it! Love this site!…..(and hopefully I got it this time) FIRST!!!!

  15. CJ says:

    OLD. LOCK. BAN.

  16. kray says:

    how dose it work? it’s cool!

  17. z2d4th says:

    This is Amazing!

  18. hello says:

    haha this is so cool =)

  19. SelEna Xavier York says:

    1st comment.
    I feel as though I’ve seen this very same illusion somewhere on the site before.
    Anyway, love it.
    And also, all 3 yellows disappeared for me for only an instant. Anyone else?

  20. RN says:

    Well, that was a little freaky!

  21. b says:

    Not working for me.

  22. Mindirella says:

    That’s cool!

  23. Roosie says:

    Amazing!

  24. blaise says:

    amazing! i think ive seen it before but didnt quite know the name for its cool

  25. R M Booker says:

    If you look at a yellow dot, the others like it disappear & reappear, but the green flashing one in the middle does not change at all. When looking at the green flashing one the yellows do indeed disappear, and reappear apparently at random.

  26. itsdave says:

    Too cool, I can get all 3 yellows to disappear and when I fixate on a yellow, I can get the other 2 and the green to disappear, but not for very long.

  27. Anonymouse says:

    I also got that the yellow dots turning. Are they turning naturally or is that my eyes?

  28. David Blair says:

    Has anybody noticed that after you stare at the Green Dot in the Center for a bit, the Blue Crosses form One Big Rotating 3-D image of a Box? Really Cool.

  29. Mike says:

    Shortly MIB – Men In Black

  30. Nicki says:

    I love this…so weird and yet so easy.

  31. Connie says:

    I like it! :-)

  32. Princess says:

    That is one of the best illusions E-VER!

  33. davidh says:

    I have only one eye and the illusion doesn’t work, perhaps stereotropic visoon is required?

  34. Pervez says:

    I think its due to the fact that any image we see it persists on our retina for 12 seconds i.e keep refreshing it for 12 seconds till it fades.When we see central blinking dot the black around it persists in our eyes and this black randomly overlaps and covers green dots and they look disappeared but our mind shifts focus again to center dot where we constanly looking and they appear again.According to my calculation it could not disappear for more than 12 seconds in any case.

  35. lunettea says:

    hahahahahaha very stange, takes time

  36. MINDBLOWN says:

    if you stare at it long enough and then look somewhere else, you seem to hallucinate.. sort of…

  37. Giles says:

    It is also like satellite spotting at night with the naked eye. If you look directly at the ‘moving’ dot, a satellite, it will seem to vanish. But look slightly off to the side of motion and the ‘moving’ dot will re-appear.

  38. errietta says:

    very good one!!!!

  39. bonance says:

    very coooool

  40. Pandora says:

    wow it really works

  41. suor de sapo says:

    Very effective, I managed to get all the three yellow dots to disappear at once in ~5 seconds

  42. Samantha Vimes says:

    I think it has to do with the degree of contrast. They blink only when the purple goes behind the yellow. The yellow greatly contrasts with the black, but in terms of greyscale value, isn’t very different from the purple. With the contrast gone, the dot seems to vanish until the black background is back into effect.

  43. vampire_cherise says:

    This is awesome!

  44. Noneyabeezyastalkers says:

    this is so cool! you can see a dark X in the middle if you look hard enough.

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  46. Alex says:

    If you stare wherever on the picture, like a random spot, or on at the very edge you get the same effect ;)

  47. 1233322 says:

    grand good

  48. katrina says:

    the bottom dot never disappeared to me.

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