Intriguing optical illusion proves most humans have ‘curvature blindness’

ZME Science | 12/13/2017 | Staff
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Credit: Kohske Takahashi/i-Perception.

Look at the picture above. What kind of lines do you see in the middle, grayed-out part: wavy, straight, or both? The truth is all the lines represented in the image are curvy, but if you’re like most people, you should see alternating rows of straight and wavy lines.

Psychologists - Illusion - Bias - Humans - Curvature

Japanese psychologists found that this optical illusion underlies a newly identified cognitive bias in humans. It’s called the “curvature blindness illusion”. Though it’s somewhat unclear how it works, scientists think it’s caused by the brain using different mechanisms to identify curved and angular shapes. These mechanisms may interfere or compete with each other, producing this strange effect.

“We propose that the underlying mechanisms for the gentle curve perception and those of obtuse corner perception are competing with each other in an imbalanced way”, explained Kohske Takahashi, an associate professor of experimental psychology at Japan’s Chukyo University, in a statement. “and the percepts of corner might be dominant in the visual system”.

Takahashi - Illusion - Sample - Students - Participants

When Takahashi presented the optical illusion to a sample of students, all the participants saw alternating rows of wavy and zig-zagging lines, suggesting this is a significant effect.

What is an optical illusion?

Illusions - Eyes - Information - Brains - Something

Optical illusions occur when the eyes send information to our brains that tricks us into perceiving something that does not match reality.

Illusions can use color,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ZME Science
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