The Best Illusion of 2011!

Mysterious illusion makes colors invisible…


Mysterious illusion, which shows how the movement can make colors invisible, won this year’s contest for the best illusion of the year, and scientists have learned something from it that they did not previously know.


‘This is a really beautiful effect that reveals something about the work of our vision system that we weren’t aware so far, “said Daniel Simons, a professor at the University of Illinois that explores the visual cognition; however, he did not participate in the project. Simons said that scientists did not know that the movement has such an impact on perception.


The observer should look to the center of the animation, focusing his eye on the white dot in the center of the circle made up of colored dots. When the circle starts to spin, it seems that the change of color stops. For some, yet unknown reason, our vision system seems to ignore the changes in color during the movement. However, if the observer with his eyes follows the rotation of the circle, he will clearly see that the colors change even when the dots are moving.

Check out yourself!

Illusion is the creation of Jordan Suchowa, a student of cognitive science at Harvard, and his adviser George Alvarez. The seventh in the roll competition for the best illusion was held in Florida.


Visual illusions reveal the difference between reality and the perception created by our brain, and their study provides insight into the underlying mechanisms that allow us to experience the world around us. Other variations of the same illusion showed that the same effect exists when the dots change color and glow, and that its strength depends on the speed of rotation.

“As objects move faster, changes are less noticeable,” said Suchow.

Dr. Simons, author of the book ‘Invisible gorilla, “says the illusion is a good example of the phenomenon known as ‘blindness to changes’, in which a man fails to notice a significant transformation due to some distraction.

Suchow says it is hard to know what is actually happening. ‘If I had the answer to this question, I would lose my job, “joked Suchow. However, the young scientist speculated that changes fade or disappear because our visual system assumes that the circles do not change.

In the world in which we live, things do not change color so quickly, and the changes are mostly caused by light or movement. Hence our vision system probably assumes that the changes are only evidence of movement and therefore ignores them, said Suchow.


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