This recently discovered optical illusion has people confused.
Just look at the lines showed on the picture and tell us what exactly do you see? According to you, are they edgy zigzags or curvy waves, and also do you seem only one kind or both of them?
The optical illusion called the ‘curvature blindness illusion’ was discovered by Kohske Takahash, an experimental psychologist from Japan’s Chukyo University and it’s the latest example of how we cannot trust our own eyes sometimes.
Most people see both types of lines, the zigzags and the waves, it depends whether you’re staring at the lines in front of the grey background that dominates the middle of the picture.
But do you notice anything different if you take a look at the lines in the top-left and the bottom-right corners of the image, where the background is white/black?
If what you see in those areas are wavy lines, but in the middle gray you also see zigzag lines, than you’ve been diagnosed with curvature blindness.
You don’t need to worry, as it’s not an actual medical condition.
It’s confusing for many why we are able to see zigzag lines when in reality all of the lines shown on the image are wavy.
Takahashi says that it could be partially explained by how our eyes differentiate curves and corners in the real world, meaning that it’s possible the way we tell two thing apart triggers a conflict in the brain’s visual system.
“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, and the percepts of corner might be dominant in the visual system “, Takahashi explains in his paper.
Hypothetically speaking, the domination of corners over curves instead of being the other way around could be because of how people had to accommodate the invented geometries of the modern physical world.
“I’d say that our eyes and brain may have been evolutionarily adapted to detect corners more efficiently than curves. We are surrounded by artificial products, which have much more corners than [the] natural environment does, and hence our visual. This visual phenomenon doesn’t cause the problem in our everyday life, otherwise someone should have found this illusion earlier”, said Takahashi for The Telegraph.
He ran a series of experiments to figure out how the illusion tricks our eyes.
Takahashi did these experiments by altering images for the participants in order to see what were the optimal conditions that would trigger the illusion.
In the picture shown above, the contrast in brightness between the lines and the background shade is reversed at the turning points, and if you look closer the zigzag lines are made up of light and dark grey that runs from the peak to the valley of each curve. This actually creates the whole illusion.
There are countless optical illusions which are fun and mind-melting on their own way, such as the amazing invisible black dots or the famous dress that took over the internet, so don’t forget to check them out.