Call for Illusion Submissions: The Best Illusion of the Year Contest

We are happy to announce the 16th edition of world’s Best Illusion of the YearSM Contest!! Submissions are now welcome!

In 2015, the Best Illusion of the YearSM Contest became an annual online event, with the goal of bringing the creativity of the illusion creator community all around the world. Anybody with an internet connection can now participate! No matter where you live, you can be a contestant, and/or vote for the Top 3 winners!

We thank the Museum of Mind, Gold Sponsor of the 2020 Best Illusion of the Year Contest, for its generous support.

Contestants are invited to submit 1-minute YouTube or mp4 videos featuring novel illusions (unpublished, or published no earlier than 2019) of all sensory modalities (visual, auditory, etc.) and/or cognitive nature.

The content of the 1-minute video presenting your illusion is solely up to you, and the only requirement is that it wows all viewers! Some examples include, but are not limited to:

  • A slide presentation, or succession of images, with a voice over (and/or written text, if you prefer)
  • A video of yourself describing your illusion
  • A video animation/performance of your illusion

An international panel of impartial judges will rate all the videos and narrow them down to the Top 10. Then, online voters around the world will choose their favorite illusions from the Top 10 finalists. All Top 10 finalists will receive a commemorative plaque. In addition, the Top 3 winners will receive cash prizes: $3,000 USD for first place; $2,000 USD for second place, and $1,000 USD for third place.

The Judge Panel will rate illusions according to:

  • Significance to our understanding of the human mind and brain
  • Simplicity of the description
  • Sheer beauty
  • Counterintuitive quality
  • Spectacularity

Submissions will be held in strict confidence by the Judge Panel. Only the Top 10 illusions will be posted online, to allow worldwide voting. Participation in the Best Illusion of the YearSM Contest does not preclude you from also submitting your work for publication elsewhere. By participating in the Best Illusion of the YearSM Contest you agree to have your illusion posted on the Contest website, if selected among the Top 10, and included in press releases and other promotional materials/fundraising initiatives for the Contest. You (and your co-authors, if appropriate) will retain the full copyright of your illusion and receive full credit as illusion creator(s).

Illusions submitted to previous editions of the contest can be re-submitted to the 2020 Contest, as long as they meet the above requirements and were not among the Top 10 finalists in previous years.

You can send your 1-minute video to Susana Martinez-Conde via email ( until August 17th, 2020.

On behalf of the Executive Board of the Neural Correlate Society:
Jose-Manuel Alonso, Stephen Macknik, Susana Martinez-Conde, Luis Martinez, Xoana Troncoso, Peter Tse

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