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The circles in this illusion aren't actually moving at all and it's driving people up the wall

The illusions created by a Japanese digital artist plays tricks on the brain and has it assuming that the circles are in motion.

The circles in this illusion aren't actually moving at all and it's driving people up the wall
Image source: Twitter/@jagarikin

The reality we perceive is the one assumed by our brain and this is further confirmed by optical illusions. The internet is constantly coming up with illusions that trick our brain into thinking one thing, while actually being something else. We could stare at it for hours and be sure of it's nature and yet be completely wrong about it. It also helps unravel how our brain works and how it processes information, bet it visual, or audible. This understanding of how optical illusions work and how our brain perceives that information has been key to gaining insights into how the brain functions, according to Science Alert. For that same reason, neuroscientists have been studying optical illusions. Artists have also incorporated optical illusions to transform their artwork and take it beyond the three dimensional canvas. The escherian staircase is an example, where the stairs keep rising but still remains a loop. 



Japanese digital artist @jagarikin designed two cricles made of blue and yellow that rotated like a wheel but appeared to be moving in the direction of where the arrow within the circle pointed. For eg. If the arrow at the heart of the circle pointed upwards, the circle appeared to be moving upwards, but when it pointed downwards, the circle appeared to be moving downwards. In both cases, the circle actaully didn't move, but the 'movement' was simply an illusion. Similarly, if the artist added four arrows pointing inwards, the circle appeared to be collapsing on itself, but, if the arrows pointed outward, the circle appeared to be expanding. While in actuality, it didn't move at all but the arrows were tricking our mind and guiding our brain. The digital artist also created a variation of the same circle but replaced the blue and yellow circles with rainbow colours.   



He also replicated the same effect with a black-and-white wheel. Most optical illusion are created by playing with contrasts in our field of vision. Many people on Twitter tried dissecting the optical illusion created buy @jagarikin. While many said the brain was picking up subtle cues of the arrows, Twitter user @XQA999 removed the arrows and the circle was still moving in the direction. The arrows were indeed a red herring, ironically misdirecting us.




Another user, @blindrob, established that the circles didn't actually move by placing them within a grid. By focusing on the grid, especially the part where the circle appeared to touch the gridline, it can be proved that the circle doesn't move. User @blindrob performed another experiment by giving one of the two circles a black border and it killed the illusion. For some reason, the circle with the border appeared stationary now, while the one without the border, still moved around freely.




Detective work from Twitter found a minor detail in the circles, especially the ones with dual colors. In @jagarikin's blue and yellow circles, each color has a small strip of contrasting colors on the inner and outer rims of the circle. Blue pixels outside the yellow blocks and vice versa. It was also found that the the border lines marginally changed as the circle spins, determining the directions and sizes of the circles during that particular sequence.

Pay attention to the strip of contrasting pixels outside and inside of the block


Two key components of the illusion are the circle's movement, and the movement in a particular direction. According to the Gestalt School of psychology, our nervous system perceives movement results from something called the phi phenomenon. This neurological program turns rapid sequences of changes in color or brightness, giving the impession of something changing its position. The second and final piece of the puzzle is provided by George Mather, a psychologist from University of Lincoln. He shows how contrasts in shade when applied in the right order to a few frames of a scene jumping back and forth creates a seamless, endless motion, one that's solely in a forward direction. Thus, the circles give the illusion of being in perpetual motion and in a particular direction. 




Such optical illusion make you appreciate how the brain functions, and even more so, it helps appreciates artists like @jagarikin who understand it's functioning and create artwork that beffudles the brain and the viewers.

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