New type of illusion tricks your brain to see glittering rays that don’t exist


The glittering star illusion will cause most people to see shimmering rays of light emanating from the center.

Michael Karlovich / Recursia Studios

A few years ago, the Internet was unleashed for optical illusions, infamous dress at a cat in the desert. Now there is a new kind of illusion in town. This will make you see shimmering rays of light and will not trigger any #whiteandgold vs. #blueandblack battles.

The “Twinkling star“is an artfully arranged collection of star polygons created by visual artist Michael Karlovich from Recursia Studios and New York University psychology researcher Pascal Wallisch. The duo released a article on illusion this week in the journal i-Perception.

NYU described the star as “a new class of illusion” in a statement Tuesday, saying: “The twinkling star, unlike known visual illusions, evokes a number of newly discovered effects, among which ephemeral illusory lines diagonally connect the dots of intersection of star polygons. ”

The study examined how viewers perceived the illusion and how contrast, line width, and other factors altered the intensity of illusory light beams. “In particular, a large number of prominent intersection points leads to stronger and sharper rays, as there are more clues to indicate the implicit lines,” Wallisch said.

Recursia created a version of the illusion with different colors behind it so you can see for yourself how lighter or darker backgrounds and various hues change your experience.

The twinkling star is a reminder of how our brains interpret imagery. Wallisch described it in a blog post like the brain “connecting the dots” to fill in missing information. “The starburst is not physically present,” Wallisch reminds us.

What’s so compelling about an illusion is that we know it’s not real, but we see it anyway. It’s magic for every day.

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