Optical illusion - can you see all 12 black dots at once?


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/01/02/optical-illusion-can-you-see.html


All twelve at once? I can’t even manage to see two at a time.


It’s quite simple really. Creationists can see all 12 and evolutionists can only see 2.


Yes! I can see all 12, though not at first. If you relax your eyes it’s like those “hidden” pictures (I can’t think of the name at the moment). The picture plane seems to drop back behind the screen and it gets weirdly intense. Then you can rove your eye around within the picture without losing any of the black dots. … But then, OMG, I started seeing black dots on all the “X” intersections along those three horizontal lines—now that was weird.

edited final sentence, to specify all the “X” intersections.


Not for me!


I couldn’t see them last week either.


The most that I could see was 3, but the center one was a lie.


How this works:

Pretty much all of your high-resolution optical neurons are concentrated in the fovea, the bit of your retina that corresponds to the centre of your vision.

Most of what you “see” in your peripheral vision is actually constructed within the brain, based upon context and memory.

In normal life, your eyes make constant saccades; small shifts of direction that move the fovea across the image, allowing your brain to update and refine the peripheral construction.

When you consciously lock your gaze, this stops happening, and the accuracy of the peripheral construction reduces. With gaze locked on the centre of the image, your brain bases its construction on the patterns at the edge of the fovea, which don’t have dots.


Well, for me at least.


I listened to a fantastic Great Course recently called “The Secrets of Human Perception” that explained visual quirks like this(and other fascinating aspects of the human sensory system) in great detail. The instructor had a lot say about this particular effect, I’m sure.

I’m pretty sure, anyway. Honestly I don’t remember much other than the title. I’m assuming all the knowledge I gained from these lectures will reveal itself during trivia night at my local bar.


If you get up close to the monitor, you will see all twelve at once.


I max out at six for the black ones (three wide by two high).

I can see all twelve red ones without really trying.


I managed to get all twelve, but the ten at the edge were really wanting to disappear from view.


To give proper credit, the image was apparently created by Akiyoshi Kitaoka, based on “Variations on the Hermann Grid: An Extinction Illusion” by Ninio & Stevens.

Akiyoshi Kitaoka’s website contains hundreds of optical illusion images.


At first, I saw all 12, but then it seemed to be just two. Funky illusion…

closed #17

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.