Forget about the panda hiding among the snowmen, there’s a new optical illusion in town.
Keep your eyes focused on the flashing green dot in the video below and before you know it, the yellow dots surrounding the green dot will disappear—but not really.
According to The Telegraph, this visual phenomenon is known as motion-induced blindness, or MIB. Basically, focusing on the flashing green dot forces your brain to cut its losses and focus only on the moving grid and the flashing green dot, stationery yellow dots be damned. But the minute you shift your attention back to the yellow dots, they reappear. The truth is, they never left the image.
While some scientists believe MIB is a failure of the brain, others think it may have lots of benefits for humans, whose brains are constantly processing information.
“Rather than being a failure of visual processing, MIB may be a functional product of the visual system’s attempt to separate distal stimuli from artifacts of damage to the visual system itself,’ Yale researchers Joshua J. New and Brian J. Scholl explained in a 2008 study. “When a small object is invariant despite changes that are occurring to a global region of the surrounding visual field, the visual system may discount that stimulus as akin to a scotoma, and may thus expunge it from awareness.”
In other words, because the yellow dots aren’t moving and the rest of the image is, your brain treats the yellow dots like a scotoma, or blindspot, and directs all your brain’s energy toward perceiving the moving parts of the image. Whoa!
Whatever the case may be for MIB, this is a pretty fun way to (briefly) trip out your brain.
(Image via YouTube)