The Ouchi Illusion Revamped

The Ouchi illusion is an illusion named after its inventor, Japanese artist Hajime Ouchi. It works in a way where the central disk seems to float above the checkered background when moving the eyes around while viewing the figure. Scrolling the image horizontally or vertically provides a much stronger effect. In this version titled “Ouchi Quintuplets” from author Kentra Gilbert, the effect is amplified even stronger! If you’re asking yourself what causes this strange phenomenon, well the illusion is caused by random eye movements, which are independent in the horizontal and vertical directions. However, the two types of patterns in the figure nearly eliminate the effect of the eye movements parallel to each type of pattern. Consequently, the neurons stimulated by the disk convey the signal that the disk jitters due to the horizontal component of the eye movements, while the neurons stimulated by the background convey the signal that movements are due to the independent vertical component. Since the two regions jitter independently, the brain interprets the regions as corresponding to separate independent objects (Olveczky et al. 2003).

11 Replies to “The Ouchi Illusion Revamped”

  1. I thought an Ouchi was when you hurt yourself. I guess it almost qualifies. I’ll let you know as soon as my eyes stop spinning around in their sockets.

  2. just to let you know that i think your “Mighty Optical Illusions” wensite (.com) & every-day mailing is excellent & has improved SO MUCH thru the years!! It’s now as good as any optical illusion site i’ve seen on the ‘net & i love when you have REAL OPTICAL “ART”, things i have never seen before, maybe not quite on the level of the great modern master painter & OP Artist – Victor Vasarely, but some are quite beautiful…& also to thank you for your free daily mailings
    Good Luck & Best Wishes! {btw i do follow you on Twitter & have ‘recommended, etc'[i had on Facebook, but have de-activated my account]

  3. If you’re having trouble seeing the illusion, back away so your eyes are 2-3 feet away from the image. I was looking at this on a laptop, so my eyes were close. When I got even closer, it didn’t help. When I backed away, bingo!

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