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


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


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


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.



I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.

Claire A.

Love this location. I had a brain injury accident from day one one. All the team make you feel you still important and hope in the horizon after when the medical system fell you miserably. Dr. Ikeda very professional and very understanding about your issue. Two tombs up.

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My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!

Teresa S.

The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.

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I have been coming here since I can remember. I love it here. The staff is so amazing and nice. They explain everything they gonna do and never make you feel rushed. Dr. Ikeda has always been my doctor and I would never want another one. He is the doctor for my whole family and is always asking how everyone is doing. I am also so crazy about picking out my frames and have to try so many and each person who helps me take the time and lets me try them all on. I would never want to go anywhere else! I definitely would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great eye doctor.

Kayla W.

This is not for the eye exam but for the frames selection portion. I brought my prescription from Kaiser here with my VSP insurance. The reception staff was very polite and professional.  Manny helped me to pick out frames and explain my coverage.  Very helpful and patient not like the individual at the other place I rated here on Yelp.  I was running late and he still helped me and was not bothered at all.  I am so glad I came here ..........very pleased.

Very professional staff and pleasant.

Daniel G.
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