Neuroscientists Find Famous Optical Illusion Surprisingly Potent

The yellow jacket (Rocky, the mascot of the University of Rochester) appears to be expanding. But he is not. He is staying still. We simply think he is growing because our brains have adapted to the inward motion of the background and that has become our new status quo.

Similar situations arise constantly in our day-to-day lives — jump off a moving treadmill and everything around you seems to be in motion for a moment.

This age-old illusion, first documented by Aristotle, is called the Motion Aftereffect by today’s scientists. Why does it happen, though? Is it because we are consciously aware that the background is moving in one direction, causing our brains to shift their frame of reference so that we can ignore this motion? Or is it an automatic, subconscious response?

Read More>>

The yellow jacket (Rocky, the mascot of the University of Rochester) appears to be expanding if you have just viewed concentric circles moving inwards. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Rochester)

Advertisements

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: