Rockin' in the free world since 2005.

New Optical Illusion

Scientists have discovered a new optical illusion that will screw up your brain big time. Focus on the red cross while the dots move. They are wriggling around, right? Wrong. All of them are moving “in straight trajectories and random directions without colliding.”

In this paper, we report on a novel visual motion illusion. When hundreds of dots move in straight trajectories and random directions without colliding, the trajectories are perceived as wriggling rather than straight (bottom). We examined the nature of this “wriggling motion trajectory illusion” via six separate experiments. The illusion was most pronounced when there were a large number of dots (top). The illusion was independent of both the distance covered (Experiment 3) and the observer”s eye movements (Experiment 4) as well as the dot types (Experiment 5). We also showed that the proximity among the moving dots plays a role in the illusion (Experiment 6).

If you focus on one dot you will see it going on a straight line. But look at the cross and you will see the illusion of them wriggling around, trying avoid each other.

Stare at the cross. No, it”s not a screamer.

[Total: 15    Average: 2.5/5]
12 Comments - View/Add
Hits: 5144
Rating: 2.5
Category: Weird
Date: 11/15/13 12:28 PM

12 Responses to New Optical Illusion

  1. Profile photo of lauriloo
    lauriloo Female 40-49
    1803 posts
    November 15, 2013 at 12:27 pm
    Link: New Optical Illusion - Stare at the cross. No, it`s not a screamer.
  2. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    35660 posts
    November 15, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    I don`t see the dots going in a straight line because I am looking at the square. How can one be expected to know what something is doing when you are NOT looking at it?

    And it`s a one-trick-pony. Once I knew they were in a straight line, that`s how my peripheral picked them up.
  3. Profile photo of MechBFP
    MechBFP Male 18-29
    813 posts
    November 15, 2013 at 1:50 pm
    Terrible. It would help if the GIF didn`t restart every 2 seconds.
  4. Profile photo of uatme
    uatme Male 18-29
    1067 posts
    November 15, 2013 at 1:52 pm
    They need to fix the animation so it doesn`t jump so hard when it repeats, hurts to watch.
  5. Profile photo of h2oxy
    h2oxy Male 18-29
    306 posts
    November 15, 2013 at 1:57 pm
    I just don`t see the wiggling... in the corner of my eyes I see lots of dots all moving in straight lines. Maybe the amount of video game that require multiple points of focus I play ruined the effect for me?
  6. Profile photo of Langer
    Langer Male 18-29
    394 posts
    November 15, 2013 at 2:04 pm
    Now dodge them.

  7. Profile photo of CodeJockey
    CodeJockey Male 40-49
    5557 posts
    November 15, 2013 at 2:38 pm
    Not everyone sees the same thing.

    The amount of distortion is relative to the individual. Different people have different sized areas de-focused/distortion.

    I don`t have the fine dexterity of the person in Langer`s gif but, I don`t see wiggling, either.
  8. Profile photo of 5Cats
    5Cats Male 50-59
    30837 posts
    November 15, 2013 at 2:55 pm
    @MechBFP and @uatme: I agree, the endless "jump" of the re-setting gif totally distracts me.

    I see the dots as moving in groups though, does that count?
  9. Profile photo of Verenthi
    Verenthi Male 18-29
    46 posts
    November 15, 2013 at 3:54 pm
    Had too much Touhou, I can still see them moving in a straight line.
  10. Profile photo of lauriloo
    lauriloo Female 40-49
    1803 posts
    November 15, 2013 at 6:37 pm
    I agree the bad looping is distracting but I see the curves and randomness when I stare at the cross.
  11. Profile photo of Sleepyhallow
    Sleepyhallow Male 50-59
    1983 posts
    November 16, 2013 at 1:51 am
    Naw, don`t see it. To me the entire field seems to have straight line trajectories.

    Even tried to let my eyes go OOF like for a stereogram, but no wiggling perceived.
  12. Profile photo of bongsmoka420
    bongsmoka420 Male 18-29
    290 posts
    November 17, 2013 at 6:30 am
    are you drating kidding me? this is what scientists are spending their time on?

    *blows brains out*

Leave a Reply