Even More Fun Optical Illusions

Published on
January 5, 2022

There’s a seemingly unending number of optical illusions that play on the limitations, and the tendencies, of our visual systems. Let’s explore a few more.

The Expanding Heart

expanding-heart

In the above image, the blakc heart looks like it’s constantly expanding! However, it never seems to get bigger, and it’s not a looped gif, so what’s going on?

This illusion plays on the fact that our eyes are constantly moving (if you don’t believe us, ask someone to track your eye movements for a bit.)

If we simply saw everything in real time, since our eyes constantly move, we’d have a hard time seeing anything comprehensible. To compensate for this, the brain “edits” all this compiled input into an image we can properly see, similar to how a good movie editor can seamlessly edit scenes together. Our brains also rely on the context of an object to effectively determine what it sees.

In the illusion here, the lined background is used by the brain as a reference point to orient the heart. Between the lines, and our eyes’ constant movement, the heart thus appears to be expanding.

The Summer Spin

Optical-Illusions-Summer-Spin-Framed-Print-

Another image that provides the illusion of movement, the spirals above appear to be slowly spinning by taking advantage of a phenomena known as apparent motion.

It takes one tenth of a second for signals from the retina to reach the brain, and if there is more contrast in what the brain is seeing, the faster the transmission. (For example, a higher contrast signal arrives one twentieth of a second faster than a low-contrast one.) So in this illusion, the contrast gradients are arranged in a way that tricks the brain into believing there is motion, as the high contrast parts of the image arrive faster than the rest.

Impossible Shapes

impossible-geometrics-34-jazzberry-blue

There are several different images that illustrate this phenomenon, but they all fall into the same general group of impossible shapes. The image depicts an object which, at first glance, appears realistic, but upon closer inspection, its mind twisting nature becomes clear as we realize that this shape could never exist in a real, 3D form.

This illusion is related to the Gestalt laws, which describe how we see and interpret the world around us, with everything being parts of a single image. So we see, in complex scenes, objects against a background, and those objects themselves are made of parts, which in turn are made of smaller parts.

According to one of these Gestalt laws, when we see ambiguous or complex objects, the brain tries to make them look as simple as it can. That is why our brain tries to ignore the impossibility of this shape, enabling us to process the image, and once we force it to acknowledge the impossibility of the shape, it becomes an eye-twisting anomaly.

There is always more to be learned about the visual system, and illusions like these always demonstrate that what we see might not always be what’s actually in front of us.

 

Testimonials


At Amplify with Dr Wernick I was seeking help for seemingly intractable, probably age-related dryness. I've seen other doctors about it, and that has been helpful, but what he explained to me about it and the careful way he answered all my questions gave me so much more of a clear understanding of what is going on (and is not) that I am more able to implement all his and others' recommendations than I was before. And he gave me additional resources for further follow-up. I am most grateful.


Cynthia Norton

Wow! This is a great Eye Care medical facility. I was thoroughly examined by Dr. Pinkhasov for over 2 hours. She made sure to check my eyes for pretty much everything and patiently explained proper care for my eyes. They definitely know how to provide great care and treat their patients right. Now I know why they have such a great reputation and been around for so long.


Steve Fay

Dr. Kavner is a gifted diagnostician and orthoptic therapist. He treated me several decades ago for a condition similar to dyslexia. I was having migraines five times per week. I worked with him for about a year and I experienced tremendous improvement (down to 3-4 per year) that has lasted.


Mary K.

Dr. Kavner recommended two types of eye therapy for my daughter. One of them using bio-feedback. In just three sessions she is seeing considerably better. She shouted this morning: Ooh my God! I could not see these letters with my glasses on, and now I can see them without my glasses. If you are willing and able to invest in improving your vision, this is a good place to go to!


Peter G.

Dr. Kavner recommended two types of eye therapy for my daughter. One of them using bio-feedback. In just three sessions she is seeing considerably better. She shouted this morning: Ooh my God! I could not see these letters with my glasses on, and now I can see them without my glasses. If you are willing and able to invest in improving your vision, this is a good place to go to!


Kinkie F.

I have always found Dr Kavner's work, expertise and wisdom of the highest caliber. As one of the fathers of OT, occupational othomology, his depth and breadth of knowledge about the eyes' health and wellbeing of the patient is exemplary. Cannot say enough good things about him.


Allen B.
1 2 3

Blog

MTN-heroimage-01

Exotropia treatment in NYC

Exotropia is one of the most common types of childhood strabismus, where one or both eyes are turned outwards, with […]

Read More
adrian-swancar-roCfgvkBLVY-unsplash

How often should I go in for imaging and ERG if I have Glaucoma?

Understanding the importance of routine advanced testing for Glaucoma In the United States, glaucoma affects about 3 million people. It […]

Read More
pexels-fotografierende-3876938

What is Exophoria?

Exophoria occurs when one or both eyes drift outward when looking at an object. You will find it difficult to […]

Read More
see all blogs

Contact Us To Amplify Your EyeCare

Amplify EyeCare Manhattan Logo

Working Hours

Tuesday - Thursday
9:30am–5pm

Friday
9:30am–3pm

Saturday
9:30am–2pm

Sunday
Closed

Location
235 East 67th Street, Suite 201, New York, New York, United States, 10065
Fax
(212) 759-2220
Website Accessibility Policy
Safety protocols page
privacy policy
Cancellation Policy
For Patients
appointment
Call Us
Referrals
Assessments
eyefile-adduserphone-handsetcalendar-fullarrow-uparrow-right linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram