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By on January 6, 2011, with 45 Comments  

Along with professor George Alvarez, graduate student Jordan Suchow from Department of Psychology at Harvard University made a new discovery in the filed of optical illusions. The paper titled Motion silences awareness of visual change was published in Current Biology on January 6, 2011 (PDF here). The effect is called Silencing, and it demonstrates how surprisingly hard it is to notice when moving objects change.

It seems that people are remarkably bad at noticing when moving objects change in brightness, color, size, or shape. The researchers present a new visual illusion that “causes objects that had once been obviously dynamic to suddenly appear static,” and that “demonstrates the tight coupling of motion and object appearance.” The results have implications for everything from video game design to the training of pilots.

Play the movie below, while looking at the small white speck in the center of the ring. At first, the ring is motionless and it’s easy to tell that the dots are changing color. When the ring begins to rotate, the dots suddenly appear to stop changing. But in reality they are changing the entire time. Take a look, it’s marvelous!

By on January 3, 2011, with 20 Comments  

So, what have I been up to lately? Not much to be sincere… I’ve added some new illusions to our Facebook group (you can join our group via the badge located in the sidebar), but what has really been occupying me lately is my diploma white paper. I’m writing about Web Analytics, and feel pretty much stuck deciding towards which direction to head next. If you have any material on the subject, or know some experts in this field be sure to drop me a line!

Anyway, not to distract you from our newest illusion, let’s see what Wyatt Crouse sent in the other day. What you see on your right is the cover of Ray Bradbury’s  book The Halloween Tree. If you have trouble seeing the illusion, try squinting your eyes!

By on January 1, 2011, with 34 Comments  

Our friends over from Deceptology are coming up with some great optical illusions lately. Check out them bow-legged gentlemen on your right for example!

The effect used is relatively simple, one we featured hundreds of times in our Seemingly Bent category. But this time you can see it in more interesting context. The bent lines represent the legs of two gentlemen.

Can you force yourself to see their legs perfectly straight? Even though they appear bent, in reality they’re 100% parallel and straight. If you haven’t realized by now, it’s the checkers background that makes this effect work! This optical illusion originally appeared in 1913, in “Popular Mechanics”.

BTW, hope you had a wonderful New Year’s eve, and I wish you all the best in 2011! Let’s hope our little community does even better than it did in 2010! This time last year I compiled my personal pick of Top 10 Optical Ilusions of 2009. I also did Year’s Recap in numbers. Expect something similar in days to come!

By on December 29, 2010, with 21 Comments  

Bobby Towe took this optical illusion picture a couple of years ago and titled it Spirit of The Woods and Water. The photo surely needs no additional explaining! I noticed however, that people tend to see all sort of things anywhere around them. We get bunch of such submissions, yet only fraction of them turn out credible enough to be posted to this site. Two such examples we had, I always remember about were Machu Picchu Illusion and Praying Mother and Child. Unfortunately, both of them turned out to be digitally doctored :(

By on December 28, 2010, with 29 Comments  

Being so illusion-concentrated, I sometimes tend to forget about real-life manners, thus “successfully” overlooked the fact there were holidays I should have mentioned and congratulated upon. Not to mention how nicely it would be if I temporarily re-designed our homepage and logo to reflect the snowy and Santa-Claus atmosphere

I apologize for that, mostly because of my manners, but also lack of skills and additional staff… So here it is: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Now let’s return to our topic. To see the genius of Belgian artist Fred Eerdekens, the lighting is very important. That’s because Eerdekens’ work relies on the shadows cast by sculptures — which are made of bent wires in this example — to unveil the hidden message to the viewer. Can you read all of the Eerdekens messages? What do they say?

Continue Reading …

By on December 27, 2010, with 99 Comments  

Peter Tse from Dartmouth College (USA) has re-invented the classic afterimage optical illusion. If you haven’t encountered afterimage illusions before, I strongly recommend visiting #Afterimages category before reading through rest of this entry. So why is this illusion different? By using it, you can reveal if your brain predominantly sees horizontal or vertical lines! To begin, you’ll need to fixate the colored image (one on your left) by looking at the fixation spot for about 60 seconds. Now shift your eyes to the fixation spot surrounded by rectangular outlines. Which afterimage did you see first? You can manually shift which afterimage you experience by attending to one rectangle and then the other. If you attend to the vertical outline rectangle you will see the afterimage corresponding to it, and if you attend to the horizontal outline rectangle you will see the different afterimage corresponding to it. Now wasn’t this great?!

By on December 26, 2010, with 20 Comments  

“If you thought you have seen it all in the name of designer homes, then it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee.” This is how the new-age designers preach, in order to get stronger acceptance for their unorthodox solutions. The new concept of designing offices or studios with this unique concept of Optical Illusion is something that started with Victor Varsarely’s work from few years ago, I think. An optical design on the walls makes sense only from one angle and all others just make up for an interesting graffiti like structure. The concept was created by graduates of Chelsea School of Art and Design, claiming it innovative and attention seeking, one of a kind 3D design, yet I think of it as nothing more than a replica of what we have already seen

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By on December 23, 2010, with 56 Comments  

I’ve just learned about one of a kind “Visual Illusions” exhibition at The Gallery at Walnut Place (413 Walnut St.) in Harrisburg. It will be opened till 31st December, so be sure to visit if you find yourself nearby! Best of all it’s free to attend!

The age-old saying “seeing is believing” usually stands, however, this exhibition provides evidence that from all of the senses, sight is most easily deceived. It seems very familiar with what our little website does! Moreover, organizers proudly claim that the exhibit, which exercises the visual and perceptual abilities, will amuse attendees with paradoxical images that are often inconsistent with what perceives to be true. You as a guest will be given the opportunity to decipher numerous optical illusions, including the mystifying four-legged man pictured on your right!

How long did take you to make sense out of this photo? At first I thought it was some sort of abstract sculpture!