The Sunray Illusion


– Michael Karlovich & Pascal Wallisch “The Sunray Illusion”. New York University
USA

Author description: When presented with intersecting ring-like shapes, most people see bright rays coming from the center, akin to what they would see when looking at the sun breaking through the clouds. However, these shimmering rays are entirely illusory—they are not actually there. The tendency to perceive illusory rays is stronger if there are more intersection points in these shapes and if they are better aligned, allowing our brains to “connect the dots,” which produces the rays. Thus, this illusion is one example of our tendency to interpret the information presented to us in the environment in the most plausible fashion.

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