It has been proven in hundreds of occasions that we cannot completely believe our eyes, as our brain uses “shortcuts” to make sense of the world. Our eyes and brain cannot work fast enough to perceive the reality at the same time when it happens.
Susana Marinez-Conde from the Barrow Neurological Institute, Arizona, explains:
“For that, our brain would need to be bigger than a building, and still then it wouldn’t be enough.”
The Bayesian interpretation of perception maintains:
“Optical illusion” sounds pejorative, as if exposing a malfunction of the visual system. Rather, I view these phenomena as highlighting particular good adaptations of our visual system to experience with standard viewing situations. These experiences are based on normal visual experiences, and thus under unusual contexts can lead to inappropriate interpretations of a visual scene. “
Therefore, this opens new possibilities for optical illusions that prove that our eyes can be easily deceived.
Read on to find out some interesting perceptual lapses:
Optical Illusion: “16 Circles”
This illusion was published on Reddit in August 2017, and only a few people were able to see the 16 circles. If you cannot find them, try focusing on the vertical lines. Namely, the brain interprets an image based on quick-and-easy “cues”, and sees the horizontal lines since they are more powerful, and sees the image as rows of rectangles.
The Ins-and-Outs of Optical Illusion
Our brain contains cells that use certain “cues” (e.g. horizontal lines) while ignoring others, and their combination determines the image that we see. Here are some classic examples of optical illusions:
The Ponzo Illusion
According to MotherNatureNetwork:
“The Ponzo Illusion relies on geometric shapes to trick the eye. The idea is similar to the Simultaneous Contrast Illusion: People will make assumptions about an object based on the information that they get from the background.
The illusion is very easy to recreate. When he first came up with it, Italian psychologist Mario Ponzo drew two horizontal parallel lines that were exactly the same length. By then drawing vertical lines that gradually got closer together (not unlike a picture of a railroad going off into the horizon), Ponzo was able to trick viewers into thinking that the parallel line in the background was much longer than the one in the foreground.”
You might think that the top horizontal line is longer than the one below it, but they are in fact the same. The brain uses the two diagonal lines as “cues” that indicate distance and depth, and the first line looks “further” away from you.
The Myers-Briggs Illusion
The three lines are the same in length, even though it does not look like it. Once more, the brain interprets the “arrow tip” ends of the lines as “cues” for depth.
The Hering Illusion
The two red lines are straight, even though you perceive them as bent. Your mind uses the spoke-like lines as “cues” for depth and movement, and you have a feeling that you are “moving forward” into the picture, with the red lines bending while you“pass them by.”
The Necker Cube
Depending on the “cues” your brain chooses to pick up, if you imagine this 2D diagram as a 3D cube, it might be facing up, to the right – or facing down, to the left.
On the video bellow you will find 11 more mind blowing optical illusions: