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This Optical Illusion Has Your Brain Befuddled. What Do You See?

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Human Brain is a lot of things – mysterious, wondrous, complex, and well, flawed. You remember how when you used to scroll down your Facebook feed, you’d often come across certain pictures that were optical illusions, and staring at them would give you a migraine? But you would still stare because there’s something insanely addictive about them? Yeah, we know.

A study at the Chinese Academy of sciences in Shanghai, showed that monkey brains, as do ours, experience a lag when we try to figure out an optical illusion called the ‘Pinna-Brelsaff’ illusion.

The illusion has the circles moving clockwise as you move your head towards the screen and then anti-clockwise as you move away.

But the real reason behind this sorcery is that in reality, our brain has an instinct to quickly figure out what we are seeing. And in that attempt, it uses a shortcut. Now that does sound like something our brain would do.

In that apparent rush of guessing, our brain substitutes apparent motion with actual motion. Ian Max Andolina of the Chinese Academy of Sciences explained, “Our brains probably have the same delay, which may seem like a flaw. But they are just being efficient. When we see something, our brain tries to quickly guess what it is. Normally, that guess is pretty accurate because the physical rules of our environment are usually consistent. Here, your brain is using a shortcut, substituting apparent motion for actual motion.”

That sounds very scientific and complicated. Basically, in a rushed attempt to tell us what we are saying, your brain feeds us information which maybe slightly off. Great, so my brain’s messing with me now? Yes, pretty much.


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