Try it for yourself: Are you also being dragged into a deep black hole?
Take a look at the image below. Does a central black hole appear to be expanding and falling into a deep black hole? So you are not alone. a New study He explains that this optical illusion — which is new to science — is perceived by about 86 percent of people. And this one is so powerful, it will even make fun of your disciples.
“The ‘widening gap’ is a very dynamic illusion,” said researcher Bruno Ling. “The shadow surrounding the central black hole creates a sense of forward motion, as if the observer is sucking forward into a hole or tunnel.”
These optical illusions are not just gimmicks with no scientific benefit. Researchers in the field of psychosocial sciences study it extensively to better understand the complex processes of our visual system. And now optical illusionists have proven in a new study that they are especially good at tricking our brains.
In the experiments, the researchers examined how the color of the hole (as well as black, blue, cyan, green, magenta, red, yellow or white) and surrounding dots affect how mentally and physiologically we respond to the illusion. On a large screen, they presented variations of the “widening aperture” of fifty women and men with normal eyesight. Then they asked them how strong their perception of illusion was. While the participants stared at the image, the researchers measured their eye movements and the unconscious pupil dilation and contraction.
The results showed that the illusion seemed more effective when the hole was black. However, fourteen percent of the people did not notice any expansion of the black hole at all, while 20 percent did not notice it when the hole was colored. Among those who noticed the expansion, the strength of the illusion differed greatly.
But perhaps the most interesting discovery is that optical illusions dominate our pupils. For example, the participants’ pupils seemed to dilate significantly when the hole was a black hole, something that also happens when we end up in a really dark environment. With colored holes, the pupils are constricted. Moreover, the more a person perceives the illusion, the more the size of the pupils changes.
This means that our pupils react strongly to the optical illusion. Ling concludes, “By using the illusion, we show that the pupil adapts even to the imagined ‘light’.” “So it’s not just about the amount of physical light that is actually perceived. The illusion of a dilated aperture causes the pupils to dilate, as it does if it gets really dark.”
So the illusion is powerful enough to fool the pupillary reflex in most of us. However, the reason for the 14 percent insensitivity of an expanding black hole is still unknown. The study shows how very useful and interesting optical illusions can be. And so the search continues. “Future studies may reveal physiological or other physical changes that ‘shed light’ on how delusions work,” Ling jokes.
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