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I think this is the aforementioned Japanese website... I came across it several weeks ago - I actually have the above illusion hanging on my cube wall :D

Anyway, the site has some explanations of some of the illusions... here's a bit of it:


The peripheral drift illusion refers to an

anomalous motion illusion that can be observed in

peripheral vision. Although this illusion

has been characterized by gratings that have

sawtooth luminance profiles, we demonstrate that

ones with stepwise profiles are more effective.

Moreover, the order of four regions of different

luminances is critical, i.e. the combination of black

and dark-gray or the combination of white and

light-gray. Specifically, illusory motion tends to

appear in the direction from a black region to an

adjacent dark-gray region or in the direction from

a white region to an adjacent light-gray region


now my brain really hurts. ;)

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Ah, Kain, thanks for posting that description (however vague it is). I was unable to find any ideas of how it worked when I first saw it.


I believe I posted this in the thread I started on this, but it's worth repeating. If you're interested in visual illusions and how they reveal some of the inner workings of vision, I highly recommend Visual Intelligence: How We Create What We See. It covers a wide variety of illusions and uses them to explain the visual process.

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