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Illusion Chasers

Illusion Chasers

Illusions, Delusions, and Everyday Deceptions

Illusion of the Week: Legos and M&M’s Bulge Illusion.

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Image credit: Mary Coffelt, Briena Heller, and Michael McCamy, Martinez-Conde and Macknik Laboratories, Barrow Neurological Institute

If you've ever played with Legos, you know that they're all about straight lines and 90-degree corners. Not in this version of Akiyoshi Kitaoka's "Bulge" illusion, created by Mary Coffelt, Briena Heller, and Michael McCamy in our laboratories last summer. The strategically placed purple and white M&Ms distort your perception of the Lego checkerboard, making it bulge out.

To see the illusion disappear with a single breath, watch this video.

Read more about shape distortion illusions and their neural bases in our Illusions column

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

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