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It’s Love’s Illusions I Recall…

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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Title: ‘E-motion’, by Gianni A. Sarcone

Gianni Sarcone has been a frequent contestant in the Best Illusion of the Year Contest, and also in our previous article on illusions of love. But he is hands down the most prolific illusion lover—or love illusioner—in the world. What can I say? He’s Italian.

His illusions are beautiful and evocative of our most cherished emotion.

So to celebrate Valentine’s Day, we Illusion Chasers are celebrating his lovely creations. Here are a few below from his new gallery of kinoptical illusions. Kinoptic illusions are static images that appear to move due to processes in the brain.



Description from our Special Issue: The yellow fields inside the heart seem paler than the fields forming the contour of the heart, which appear to be a darker shade of yellow-orange. Right? Wrong. Actually all the yellow fields in the figure are identical. Any differences that you see are all in your mind. This effect is called neon color spreading because it resembles the effect of the light spreading from a neon lamp. The neural underpinnings of this effect are not yet understood.

Stephen L. Macknik About the Author: Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen L. Macknik are laboratory directors at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Follow on Twitter @illusionchasers.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. gsarcone 6:13 pm 02/14/2014

    Hi Stephen,
    Thank you very much for the article! However, my last name is ‘Sarcone’ not ‘Sardine’, though I like sardines very much :)
    Gianni A. Sarcone

    Link to this
  2. 2. tuned 12:10 pm 02/15/2014

    Consarned mind foolin’ us again, dagnabbit!
    Gimme black and white.

    Link to this

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