The Dynamic Ebbinghaus

Christopher D. Blair, Gideon P. Caplovitz, and Ryan E.B. Mruczek
University of Nevada Reno, USA, USA

The Dynamic Ebbinghaus takes a classic, static size illusion and transforms it into a dynamic, moving display. A central circle, which stays the same size, appears to change size when it is surrounded by a set of circles that grow and shrink over time. Interestingly, this effect is relatively weak when looking directly at a stationary central circle. But if you look away from the central circle or move your eyes, or if the entire stimulus move across the screen, then the illusory effect is surprisingly strong – at least twice as large as the classic, static Ebbinghaus illusion.

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Flexible colors

Mark Vergeer, Stuart Anstis, and Rob van Lier
University of Leuven, UC San Diego, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands

One colored image can lead to different color impressions, depending on the colourless luminance profile that is presented on top of the colored image. In all versions of the illusion, the underlying colours are identical. However, the grey scale image that is presented on top of the colored image reinforces the colors that are congruent with the the gray scale image and inhibits incongruent colors. As a result the color impression is very different for the different images. This illusion is a demonstration of how in our brain color and contour information is combined before the eventual perception is determined.

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A Turn in the Road

Kimberley D. Orsten and James R. Pomerantz
Rice University, Houston, TX, USA

Short description of our illusion: When we look at two pictures that are physically the same, they usually look the same. When they are different, they look different. Our illusions show the opposite: two images that are different but look the same – those are called “metamers”; – and two images that are identical but look different – we call those “anti-metamers.” Our main illusion mixes the two: it shows three images, two of which match with a third one mismatching. Viewers see one image as odd, but it’s one of the two identical images they see as different, an illusion we call “false pop out.”

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Rotating McThatcher Illusion

James W. Dias & Lawrence D. Rosenblum
University of California, Riverside, USA

This illusion demonstrates that our unconscious ability to lipread is influenced by processes considered idiosyncratic to face perception. It combines two well known effects. The McGurk effect shows that our perception of a heard syllable (‘ba’) is unconsciously influenced by a synchronized lipread syllable (‘va’) so we report “hearing” what we see (‘va’). The Margaret Thatcher effect shows that the context of a (near) upright face enhances our sensitivity to facial distortions (inverted mouth). In the Rotating McThatcher Illusion, the face rotates around an inverted mouth. When the face is near upright, the influence of the lipread syllable is weakened.

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Age is all in your head

Victoria Skye
(© 2014 Victoria Skye)

This is an anamorphic illusion. It begins as a normal photograph and then is tilted backwards and forwards to create opposite vanishing points. The tilting distorts the shape of the head and facial features to create the illusion of an actual age progression and regression. For the age progression the top half of the head narrows, and the bottom half expands creating a more mature look. For the age regression, the opposite happens. The head and ears enlarge and the lower face narrows giving them a smaller nose, chin and neck, which results in a realistic childlike appearance.

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