2010 Illusion of the Year

12 May

Very cool illusion of the year post over at Neatorama:

This cardboard sculpture by Koukichi Sugihara (of the Meiji Institute for Advanced Study of Mathematical Sciences in Japan) won the first prize at the 2010 Illusion of the Year competition. Remarkably this is a solid object when most entries were computer-generated.

In this video, wooden balls roll up the slopes just as if they are pulled by a magnet. The behavior of the balls seems impossible, because it is against the gravity. The video is not a computer graphic, but a real scene. What is actually happening is that the orientations of the slopes are perceived oppositely, and hence the descending motion is misinterpreted as ascending motion. This illusion is remarkable in that it is generated by a three-dimensional solid object and physical motion, instead of a two-dimensional picture.

Other entries included:

Fat to thin face illusion (bonus points for use of Thatcher AND James Cordon)

The fat face thin (fft) illusion

Please move the eyes over the static red hearts on the blue background. The blurry heart wobbles whereas the sharp heart remains still.

Fixate the colored image by looking at the fixation spot for about 60 seconds. Now shift your eyes to the fixation spot surrounded by rectangular outlines. If you attend to the vertical outline rectangle you will see the afterimage corresponding to it, and if you attend to the horizontal outline rectangle you will see the different afterimage corresponding to it. You can shift which afterimage you experience by attending to one rectangle and then the other.

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