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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Susana Martinez-Conde is a professor of opthalmology, neurology, and physiology and pharmacology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. She is author of the Prisma Prize-winning Sleights of Mind, along with Stephen L. Macknik and Sandra Blakeslee. Their forthcoming book, Champions of Illusion, will be published by Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
MARCOS LAINEZ, COURTESY OF SUNY DOWNSTATE MEDICAL CENTER