More Eye-Bending Optical Illusions

Published on
January 5, 2022

There are always more fascinating optical illusions for us to puzzle over. Here are several more worth exploring.

The Spinning Dancer

Spinning_Dancer

Chances are you’ve seen this one somewhere online. In this illusion, you see the silhouette of a dancer, spinning in place. The illusion involves the direction in which you see it spins. Sometimes it appears to rotate in a clockwise direction, and at other times, in a counterclockwise direction. The director in which the dancer spins can potentially be changed at will by the viewer, or it may appear to change direction on its own.

The spinning dancer illusion, created by Nobuyuki Kayahara in 2003, has since become one of the more well known optical illusions. The reason for the illusion is that the lack of visual depth in the animation, and ambiguity regarding the dancer’s anatomy are too ambiguous for our visual systems to process properly, so we can perceive the spinning dancer in differing, even conflicting states.

Rubin’s Vase

face_vase_illusion_resize_mdAnother optical illusion you are likely to have run into before, the Rubin’s vase illusion, created by Edgar Rubin in 1915, is among the most famous optical illusions in the world. In the image, we see what can alternatively be a vase or two faces in profile, facing each other.

This illusion is explained through the concept of figure-ground organization. This lets us perceive objects both as figures and backgrounds. In this illusion, however, what we see alters with a change of perspective. If the black area is seen as the background, the vase becomes the figure. Conversely, when we see the white area as the background, the faces become the figure.

The Müller-Lyer Illusion

M__ller-Lyer_illusion_resize_md

Yet another illusion you’re likely to have run into before, this was created by Franz Carl Müller in 1889, and has become extremely recognizable.

In this illusion, you see three horizontal lines, each with differently configured arrowheads on the ends of the line. While the lines may look to be all of different lengths, they are, in fact, all equally long.

Interestingly, some studies show that Western individuals are more susceptible to this illusion, since they are more used to “carpentered” surroundings, meaning that they live and work in areas where straight lines and right angles are commonplace. One explanation for how this illusion works is that the differently aligned arrows make the lines look to be of different lengths. Inward pointing arrows make an object appear closer, while outward facing arrows appear further away. Since the lines are presented side by side, we perceive the “further away” line as longer.

The Ebbinghaus Illusion

Ebbinghaus_Illusion_resize_md

Another illusion which plays with our understanding of perspective, the Ebbinghaus illusion, also known as the Titchener Circles, was discovered by Hermann Ebbinhaus in the 19th century. This illusion challenges your perception of size. In the more common version of the illusion, created by Edward B. Titchener, we see two equally sized circles, one of which is surrounded by larger circles, and another surrounded by a ring of smaller circles.

Even though the circles are the same size, the one surrounded by bigger circles appears smaller than the one surrounded by smaller circles. The reason for this is believed to be related to how we perceive size, specifically, on the context involved. With the changed context in which we see the circles, our perception of their size also changes.

Kanizsa’s Triangle

Kanizsa_triangle_resize_md

This optical illusion is a famous example of the concept of illusory contours. That refers to our perception of an edge or an outline where there isn’t one. This perception is created by different shapes and edges being presented together and arranged in a way that implies the presence of defined contours or edges.

In Kanizsa’s Triangle itself, the three incomplete black circles and open angles generate the illusion of a white triangle. As is usually the case with this type of illusion, the illusory shape appears both closer to the viewer, and brighter.

It works because the incomplete circles trigger our depth perception, causing our visual system to believe the dark shapes are further away and darker than the apparent triangle.

The Duck and Rabbit Illusion

Duck-Rabbit_resize_md

This illusion was first made in 1892, and has been fascinating people to this day.

The image we see can be alternatively viewed as a duck facing left, or a rabbit facing right, and the illusion operates on the concepts of how our visual system perceives ambiguous images, and the process of mid-level vision.

Mid-level vision is how our brains organize visual information based on the perceived edges of the image. With ambiguous images, the edges are unclear, and so we can perceive two contradictory versions of the same image depending on how we look at it.

There are many more fascinating optical illusions out there which can help us gain a better understanding of our visual system. And, of course, they’re just plain cool to look at.

Testimonials


  • 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.


    Jim K.

  • 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.


    Joe M.

  • 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.

Blog

strabismus_esotropia_large-e1627986452983

Can lazy eye be treated for adults?

Amblyopia is very common in adults, with a US prevalence ranging between 1% and 4%. Lazy eye or amblyopia can […]

Read More
pexels-anna-shvets-5231265

Hands-Free Magnification: Telescopic, Microscopic, And Prismatic Low Vision Glasses

It is estimated that 12 million Americans over the age of 40 have some form of vision impairment. Magnification devices […]

Read More
children-drawing-together-classroom (1)

Binocular vision and why two eyes need to work together

A significant percentage at least 10% to 20% of the population suffers from binocular vision dysfunction, yet almost no one […]

Read More
see all blogs

Contact Us To Amplify Your EyeCare

Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach Logo

Working Hours

Monday & Wednesday
9:00AM–6:00PM

Tuesday & Thursday
8:00AM–5:00PM

Saturday
By appointment only

Friday & Sunday
Closed

 

 

Location
16816 Clark Ave, Bellflower, CA 90706, United States
Fax
(562) 867-8719
Website Accessibility Policy
Safety protocols page
privacy policy
Cancellation Policy
For Patients
appointment
Call Us
Referrals
Assessments
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