This week’s illusion, by vision scientist Alan Stubbs from the University of Maine, competed as a top ten finalist in the 2006 Best Illusion of the Year Contest. To experience the illusion, sit at normal reading distance in front of your computer screen and then lean forward toward the center of the image. An exploding supernova of brightness will ensue. Move your head back and forth in front of your monitor to experience shrinking and expanding brightness.
Created by Allan Stubbs
You can read more and experience different versions of this illusion here.
The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.
Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen L. Macknik are laboratory directors at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. They serve on Scientific American Mind's board of advisers and are authors of Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals about Our Everyday Deceptions, with Sandra Blakeslee, now in paperback (http://sleightsofmind.com). Their forthcoming book, Champions of Illusion, will be published by Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux.