Optical Illusions can use color, light and patterns to create images that can be deceptive or misleading to our brains. The information gathered by the eye is processed by the brain, creating a perception that in reality, does not match the true image. Perception refers to the interpretation of what we take in through our eyes. Optical illusions occur because our brain is trying to interpret what we see and make sense of the world around us. Optical illusions simply trick our brains into seeing things which may or may not be real.
Try out some of these illusions and discover just how tricky it can be for your brain to accurately interpret the images from your eyes. Click on any of the images below to begin your exploration of optical illusions.
The Box and the Sphere
Hermann Grid Illusion
My Wife and My Mother-in-Law
Special thanks to Aaron Lee Cecala, University of Rochester, USA
Natural Mirage - This is something to watch for on a sunny, hot summer day. When you happen to be on a long, straight road, take a look at the surface of the road up ahead of the car. It often appears that there are pools of water on the road. You may even see the "reflections" of cars in these "pools."
An afterimage or ghost image is a term for an optical illusion referring to an image that continues to appear in one's vision after the exposure to the original image has ceased. One of the most common afterimages is the bright glow that seems to float before your eyes after staring at a light bulb or a headlight for a few seconds.
Explore the phenomenon of afterimages and other cool optical phenomena by trying some of these AfterImages created by Project Lite.
Opponent Afterimages - After hitting Go!, stare at the black dot in any one of the images for 30 seconds to a minute. Then hit Hide Me! to make the image vanish. Keep staring at the white screen. What do you see? Try repeating this by closing your eyes instead of hiding the image. Which picture evokes the strongest afterimage? Why?
Opponent Afterimages Photo - After hitting Go!, stare at the black dot in any one of the images for 30 seconds to a minute. Then hit Hide Me! to make the image vanish. Keep staring at the white screen. What do you see? Try repeating this by closing your eyes instead of hiding the image. Which picture evokes the strongest afterimage? Why?
Please find these afterimages and many more on Project Lite.