Scientists are creating a captivating “black hole” optical illusion

A cognitive optical illusion can trick the brain into thinking that a stationary black hole is expanding, researchers have shown.

This illusion of a “widening hole” that is new to science was created by Professor Akiyoshi Kitaoka, a psychologist at Ritsumeikan University in Kobe. Japan.

In tests, 86 percent of volunteers perceived the central black hole to be expanding, as if moving into a dark environment like a tunnel, or falling into a hole.

The image is so capable of deceiving our brain that it encourages dilation of the pupils, just as it would if we were to move in a dark area.

Take a look at this picture. Do you perceive that the central black hole expands as if you were moving into a dark environment, or falling into a hole? The “expansion hole” is an illusion new to science, say researchers

HOW DOES THE ILLUSION GO AWAY?

The “expanding hole illusion” shows a central black hole expanding, as if the viewer were moving into a dark environment, or falling into a hole.

The circular central black hole evokes an impression of optical current – experiencing motion through what we see.

According to the researchers, when people see the image, the pupil tends to dilate (enlarge) as a way to let in more light.

This happens when we are aware that we are about to enter a dark space, as when we are in a car that is about to enter a dark tunnel.

According to the researchers, when people see the image, the pupil tends to dilate (enlarge) as a way to let in more light.

This happens when we are aware that we are about to enter a dark space, as when we are in a car that is about to enter a dark tunnel.

The illusion also occurs regardless of the size of the image, even if it is very small, and also if it is a different color.

“The ‘expansion hole’ is a very dynamic illusion,” said Professor Bruno Laeng, who ran the experiments at the University of Oslo’s Department of Psychology.

“The circular smudge or shadow gradient of the central black hole evokes a considerable impression of optical current, as if the observer were pointing forward into a hole or tunnel.”

Professor Kitaoka, who created the image, is known as the creator of optical illusions, including the famous Rotating Snakes illusion and the “Asahi” bright illusion.

The Asahi illusion has a central region that looks brighter than its white background, although it is the same white everywhere.

To test the effectiveness of the new image, the researchers recruited 50 people with healthy vision between the ages of 18 and 41.

Professor Kitaoka is already known as the creator of optical illusions, including the famous Rotating Snakes illusion and the

Professor Kitaoka is already known as the creator of optical illusions, including the famous Rotating Snakes illusion and the “Asahi” illusion (pictured). The Asahi illusion has a central region that looks brighter than its white background, although it is the same white everywhere.

All volunteers were shown the image, as well as several variations of the image with different colors, for a few seconds on a computer screen.

Professor Akiyoshi Kitaoka, a psychologist at Ritsumeikan University in Kobe, Japan, is a co-author of this new study.

Professor Akiyoshi Kitaoka, a psychologist at Ritsumeikan University in Kobe, Japan, is a co-author of this new study.

An infrared eye tracker recorded constrictions and dilations of the pupils when the different images were presented.

For each, participants were asked to assess subjectively how strongly they perceived the illusion.

As controls, participants were also shown “ripped” versions of the expanding hole images, with equal brightness and colors, but without any pattern.

Researchers found that the illusion was most effective when the hole was black – only 14 percent of participants did not perceive the illusion in this case.

Meanwhile, a slightly higher percentage did not see the hole if it was in color – 20 percent for all colors, on average.

The researchers also found that black holes promoted strong reflex dilations of the participants ’pupils, while colored holes prompted their pupils to compress.

Pictured are the different spreading hole images in different colors (left), as well as the

Pictured are the different spreading hole images in different colors (left), as well as the “ripped” control images (right).

For black holes, but not for colored holes, the stronger individual participants subjectively assessed their perception of the illusion, the more their pupil diameter tended to change.

Among those who did perceive expansion, the subjective force of the illusion differed, although it is uncertain exactly why.

It is possible that other vertebrate species, or even invertebrate animals with “camera” eyes such as octopuses, might perceive the same illusion.

Octopus eyes focus on movement, much like the lens of a camera or telescope, rather than changing shape like the lens in the human eye.

The results of the study were published in the journal Limits in Human Neuroscience.

OPTICAL ILLUSION REVEALS HOW DEPRESSION CAN CHANGE VISUAL PERCEPTION

Having depression makes the effects of some optical illusions less pronounced, a study suggests.

Finnish researchers tested visual perception of people with and without depression, using small squares of the same colors imposed on different backgrounds.

Depressed patients perceived the visual illusion presented on a computer screen as significantly weaker.

Visual perception is probably linked to the processing of information in the cerebral cortex – the outermost layer of the brain that is involved in sensation, perception, memory and conscious thought.

The scientists say that cortical processing of visual contrast is altered during a major depressive episode.

Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.