Divergent Spirals Illusion


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Divergent Spirals Illusion

This one is really best watched in a dynamic applet.


What if applet does not run?

A few words.

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Copyright © 1996-2017 Alexander Bogomolny

Many animals perceive object motion rather than specific objects. For the humans, too, the ability to react effectively to motion is often a matter of survival. It is not surprising then that the human visual mechanism is sometimes deluded into seeing motion where there is none.

One particular instance is presented by the applet. Focus at the center of the design and make it rotate fast clockwise. You are likely to see two spirals: the dark one winding inward towards the center and a light one winding out away from the center. The white divergent spiral is a dominant feature of the experiment that is hard to miss. The variety is introduced by a number of setup parameters. When the design rotates counterclockwise, both spirals seem to converge to the center.

References

  1. R. Sekuler, E. Levinson, The Perception of Moving Targets, in The Mind's Eye, D. H. Freeman & Co, 1986

|Contact| |Front page| |Contents| |Geometry|

Copyright © 1996-2017 Alexander Bogomolny

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