The 'chasing dots' optical illusion that reveals how our brains work

Mail Online | 10/17/2018 | Annie Palmer For Dailymail.com
morica (Posted by) Level 3
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Scientists have developed an optical illusion that makes the brain believe a simulated scenario is actually reality.

The illusion, created by Yale University researchers, places two dots on a moving map of the city of Tokyo.

Dot - Dot

It appears that the red dot is chasing the blue dot.

Then, all of a sudden, the blue dot begins chasing the red dot.

Video - Viewer - Researchers

Not long into the video, the viewer realizes all is not what it seems, as the researchers explain.

Most participants believe the dots are chasing each other around the map.

Result - Brain - Trick - Viewer

However, this is actually the result of the brain playing a trick on the viewer.

In reality, the researchers used a looping animation to make the red and blue dot move around each other.

Element - Directions - Brain - Map - Background

The only element moving in the directions ascribed by the brain is the map in the background.

They reversed the direction of the map's movement halfway through the experiment to make it look like the dots had reversed their direction, i.e. the blue dot began chasing the red dot.

'Observers - Animations - Disc - Disc - Researchers

'Observers viewed single animations containing a stationary central disc and a peripheral disc, which moved around it,' the researchers explained in the study.

'A background (a map of the city of Tokyo) moved behind the discs.

Background - Motion - Vector - Peripheral - Disc

'When the background motion was generally along the vector from the peripheral to the central disc, observers generally described the central disc as chasing the peripheral disc.'

When background motion was reversed, viewers began describing the peripheral disc as chasing the central disc, they added.

Knowledge

'To our knowledge, this...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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