September 29, 2023

South Sudan News Agency

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The brain-bending secret behind hundreds of optical illusions has finally been revealed

In this illusion, the horizontal stripe in the center of the image is actually one shade of gray but appears as a gradient due to another gradient in the background. (Image credit: Joleon Trociaenko)

Armed with a new computer model, scientists have taken a step closer to uncovering the mind-boggling secrets of optical illusions that trick the brain into seeing the wrong colors when processing images.

“Synchronized contrast illusions” are a large-scale group of deceptive illustrations that trick people into thinking that certain parts of an image are different colors from one another, when they are actually the same color. The effect is based on the photographer changing the brightness or color in the background, in order to change our perception of the objects in the foreground. For example, in the image above, the smaller band in the middle of the image is a single color of gray but appears graduated to different shades because the background is brighter at one end and darker at the other. Another example is They are Monker Whiteshown in the image below, where 12 balls appear red, purple, and green but are actually the same shade of beige.