Optical illusion, because the brain sees rays in this photo


This optical illusion deceives the way the brain connects the points of the polygons, creating bright rays that are not actually there.

Optical Illusion Scintillating Starbust (photo: courtesy of Michael Karlovich, Recursia LLC)

A series of wreath concentric and that’s it: ours brain he deceives himself and there it will seem to see rays emerge and shine in the geometric design, which in reality are not there. It’s a new one optical illusion, call Scintillating starbust (starburst – literally starburst – bright), presented by two researchers from the Department of Psychology and the Data Science Center at New York University. The two authors, Michael W. Karlovich and Pascal Wallish, showed the image to a group of volunteers and explained, with careful geometric analysis and psycho-cognitive, such as sensory mechanisms are the basis of this new one distortion of visual perception. There Research is published on i-Perception.

optical illusion
(photo: cortesia at Michael Karlovich, Recursia LLC)

An illusion maths

The geometric figure is formed by concentric circles in turn consisting of intertwined polygons Between them. The observer perceives some lines of light coming from the center. To test the effect the researchers involved 100 volunteers to which numerous versions of the image have been presented Scintillating starbust, with variable shape, complexity and lighting. The aim was to study if and how certain factors, such as the number of vertices of polygons or the level of contrast, can alter the perception of the figure. In the rather complex study, the authors built the image in various steps by modifying the structure, the brightness and color by applying previous mathematical and geometric models.

Behind the optical illusion

Volunteers they perceived the optical illusion, or the presence of these rays, and the researchers conclude that it is a compound illusion, which combines several effects. Among these is the fact that ours brain connect the points in a certain way belonging to the star-shaped polygons and these diagonal lines. THE illusory rays I’m just the fruit of this connection operated when we observe the intertwining of garlands and focus on some points. The phenomenon, the authors explain, resembles in some respects the visual illusion called lilac chaser (literally lilac hunter) also known as the illusion of Pac man. There are 12 lilac discs arranged in a circle, one of which disappears for a tenth of a second. Then the next disappears and the one after again and again, gradually clockwise. This produces various visual and light effects, such as the appearance of a green dot running along the circle.

More garlands and more sides for greater effect

Returning to the optical illusion Scintillating starbust, several elements of the design enhance this illusory phenomenon. The determining factor is the number of garlands: the more they are, the stronger the effect. The particular structure of the polygons which are heptagons (composed of 7 sides) intertwined or better of which each side is cut (bisected) from the vertex of another polygon, effectively forming a tetradecagon (polygon with 14 sides). Other elements that favor the illusion are the contrast (all the more dark figure on a light background) followed by the larger one width of the braids of the garland and finally the growth of the number of vertices. It is all these factors together that produce the final result.


Categories:   Science

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