This brainteaser will definitely have strangers stare at you funny while you squint at your screen.
Originally posted by Playbuzz, the image, at first, seems to be just an illustration of alternating black and white bars, like a barcode.
However, the optical illusion is currently making its round on the internet, leaving many of us baffled. If you can figure this out quickly then you must be some sort of genius.
Here is the image:
You can only see this optical illusion if you shake your head (I'm serious) 😂 pic.twitter.com/WhtZ1b0r4t
— Dr Michelle Dickinson (@medickinson) January 10, 2019
Well, over at Vox, they explained why optical illusions work and are the way they are. You see, "reality" is constructed by your brain, and optical illusions, like all misperceptions, teachs' us that our experience of reality is not perfect.
"It's really important to understand we're not seeing reality," says neuroscientist Patrick Cavanagh, a research professor at Dartmouth College and a senior fellow at Glendon College in Canada. "We're seeing a story that's being created for us."
Therefore, visual illusions present clear and interesting challenges for how we live: How do we know what's real? Perception Science provokes the ideology that science tells us our brains are making up a story about reality. Scientists are therefore looking into perception science to seek out the answers to how reality might be wrong.
Writing for Vox, Brian Resnick says "It's not about doubting everything that comes through our senses. It's about looking for our blind spots, with the goal of becoming better thinkers."
After a study constructed by Cavanagh and his colleagues Sirui Liu, Qing Yu, and Peter Tse, which included the "double drift" illusion. They wanted to see if they could perceive each animation similarly: "We want to find where the conscious perception diverges from the physical sensation," Cavanagh says.
They found that while the visual system at the back of the brain isn't fooled by the illusion, the front of the brain, where the higher-level thinking area dedicated to anticipation and decision making, is tricked.
Resnick explains that we are not seeing reality and that our vision is actually running 100 milliseconds behind the real world. It is our brain that takes what the eyes see and in turn creates a story, which we call reality.
"The dirty little secret about sensory systems is that they're slow, they're lagged, they're not about what's happening right now but what's happening 50 milliseconds ago, or, in the case for vision, hundreds of milliseconds ago," says Adam Hantman, a neuroscientist at Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Research Campus.
However, this is where it gets tricky because not only is your brain translating the images at a relaxed level, but it is in fact predicting what is going to happen. If we solely relied on our eyes, we'd be less coordinated - we wouldn't be able to hit baseballs or swat away flies, and we'd definitely get hurt more often. It gains this information from past experiences.
"So the brain predicts the path of motion before it happens. It tells us a story about where the object is heading, and this story becomes our reality. That's what's likely happening with Cavanagh's illusion. It happens all the time."
Therefore, when looking at illusions, what our brains are trying to do is fill in the information. Using past experiences, our brain is trying to look at the image and predict what is going to happen, thus bringing our life histories into these small perceptions.
This is why once you've seen an illusion, you can't 'unsee' it, because your brain has filled in the information and learned from past experiences essentially conquering the image. The Kanizsa triangle was particularly famous for this.
So here is the image again, for your convenience… can you see it yet?