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Twelve Black Dots Optical Illusion Captures Internet Attention

Image: Twelve Black Dots Optical Illusion Captures Internet Attention

An optical illusion posted on Twitter by Will Kerslake has gone viral. (Twitter)

By    |   Tuesday, 13 Sep 2016 11:25 AM

Twelve black dots are the focus of a new optical illusion breaking the internet. Optical illusions have a history of grabbing the immediate attention of those surfing the web, and the latest illusion has further proven that.

Will Kerslake, a game developer, took to Twitter on Sunday to post a picture of intersecting gray lines over a white background.

If you’ve never broken the Internet, here’s what that looks like: In the first six hours after Kerslake posted the photo to Twitter, it was shared more than 6,000 times, The Verge reported, adding that people commented on the picture relentlessly looking for answers as to why they couldn’t see all 12 dots at once. By midday Tuesday, the Tweet had been shared more than 32,000 times.

The picture was first posted on Facebook by Japanese psychology professor Akiyoshi Kitaoka, The Verge noted.

According to Web Top News, “all twelve dots are really on the image, but most people are unable to see them all at the same time, making the dots seem like they appear and disappear with every blink.”

Digg refered to our inability to see all 12 dots at once as a phenomenon called “lateral inhibition,” which is “the capacity of an excited neuron to reduce the activity of its neighbors.” This occurs primarily during the visual process.

“They think, ‘It’s an existential crisis,’” Derek Arnold, a vision scientist at the University of Queensland in Australia, said, according to The Verge. “How can I ever know what the truth is?” Arnold adds that the issue is that people don’t understand that “perception doesn’t always equal reality.”

The Verge compared the 12-dot illusion to focusing on a word in the center of a line. You’ll most likely see that word very clearly until “you try to read the words at either end without moving your eyes,” which is when those words tend to become blurry.

“At a non-intersection, you’ve got a strip of gray line and it’s surrounded by a lot of white,” Arnold explained. “When you get to an intersection, you’ve got multiple gray lines intersecting, and not as much white.” This causes the brain to think that the dot where all the gray lines intersect is lighter than the rest of the gray line, creating the illusion.

“That can counteract the blurry black dot that is actually, physically there,” Arnold said regarding our peripheral vision.

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Twelve black dots are the focus of a new optical illusion breaking the internet. Optical illusions have a history of grabbing the immediate attention of those surfing the web, and the latest illusion has further proven that.
twelve, black, dots, illusion
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2016-25-13
Tuesday, 13 Sep 2016 11:25 AM
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