Star Wars Scroll Illusion

– Arthur Shapiro: “The Star Wars Scroll Illusion”. American University (USA)

In the Star Wars movies, the opening sequence shows words scrolling from the bottom of the screen into the distant void of space. Here, we place two copies of a scrolling text side by side. Since the texts are identical, we might imagine that they would appear to run parallel to each other. What we see, however, is one scroll appearing to move toward the upper left of the screen, while the other appears to move toward the upper right. Our brain’s interpretation of the 3D perspective therefore differs from our brain’s interpretation of the parallel lines on the screen.

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