Have you ever stared at something so close up that you thought it was something but turned out to be something else? That’s an optical illusion. It seems our brains are really clever at detecting illusions, or is it otherwise? Take a look at this image and judge for yourself.
Related media: Troxler’s Effect Illusion
You Can’t See Me!
Optical illusions can really trick you into seeing something pretty awesome as pretty bizarre. Yes! Whether its an old lady’s face turning into a young lady’s face at the same time, parallel lines that seem to vary in size, or look slightly different. However, with regards to the illusion we’re going to show you, its all about what you don’t see. Step right up and witness the image that will disappear before your very own eyes!
Here it is: Take a good stare at the image below. It’s obviously a dark spot with a sporadicarray of bright colors. Now take a closer look, go on, look at it for quite some time, we’ll wait. Focus on that spot on the center of the image, and it seems that the sporadic colors that were so bright a moment ago will begin to fade away from your view until all you can perceive is the dark spot on a blank white background.
First, the dim colors fade, until all the rest does the same. But, as you realize this effect by even slightly shifting your attention or blink a little bit, then Ta-da!, the colors pop right back. Honestly, we aren’t playing tricks on your vision with a sneaky GIF — this is an optical illusion your eyes with the aid of your mind is playing on your perception.
Did You See Me?
This bizarre disappearance yet awesome act is known as the Troxler’s effect. This phenomenon was discovered by Ignaz Troxler, a Swiss philosopher and physician in 1804. We’re sure you’ve probably seen such an illusion before — you focus on one thing, and the next moment you realize your periphery begins to change. In the image above, for instance, you notice that the colors are fading away because as you focus your attention on the spot in the center, your brain thinks that the other colors are unnecessary and unimportant. And that’s why they seem to disappear, but it doesn’t.
We have a lot of stimuli around us pretty much at any given moment, and in fact, our brains are pretty good at selecting where for us to focus, we big brain apes. Think about it this way: After wearing your perfume, you instantly seize to smell it, right? Or just as you’re walking around, you seem not to hear your footsteps, or do you? The human brain (that’s what we have at least) is good at ignoring the less important details about whatever we perceive; or you’d just be stuck in a non-illusive quandary. Why care to perceive things when they really don’t matter?
Now You See Me
In the illusion you just witnessed, you held all your attention on the spot, but in reality, you don’t even notice those colors fading away because your eyes slightly makes micro-movements all the time, even if you think you don’t, you do. You were even tempted to flip your eyes off to the sides once you realized that the colors were fading away, right? That’s just nature at work with your perception. It seems that the silly tricks our senses play on our minds are not nonsense at all, they are really our senses making sense.
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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Sat, Mar 23, 2019.