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Best Optical Illusion of the Year Contest

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the stare-at-the-center dept.

Graphics 79

An anonymous reader writes "The 7th annual 'Best illusion of the year contest' was held by the Neural Correlate Society last week in Florida, and it featured 10 fantastic visual illusions selected from a pool of over 150 submissions. The site has demos of the illusions that made the finals, with brief explanations about what each illusion tells us about the visual system. Some might be important for the design of video displays and animations."

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And the winner is... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36239142)

The imaginary webpage!

Re:And the winner is... (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#36242542)

It's this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjMVsTFVX10 [youtube.com]

I don't think we can slashdot youtube :).

Anyway, I find if I shift some attention to the dots while looking at the centre dot, even though the whole thing rotates I can still notice that the dots are changing colour.

It is normally more important for the brain to notice that the "whole thing is rotating together" than the dots changing colour. The big picture is more important.

That said, I'm not so sure about how the "loch ness aftereffect " one works (3rd place): http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/nstv/2011/05/best-illusions-turning-wheel-seems-to-jump-backwards.html [newscientist.com]

I don't have flash player 9 so I'm linking to the one that works for me :).

Maybe the sudden change that is untrackable causes the brain to guess that the rotation is the other way.

I find this illusion interesting (not a winner for this year): http://www.psy.ritsumei.ac.jp/~akitaoka/illnews7e.html [ritsumei.ac.jp]

Because some older people can't see the illusory motion effect!

Quicktime? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36239152)

There's no fucking way I'm installing that fucking Apple shit on my PC, no matter how cool the optical illusions are.

Re:Quicktime? (2)

dintech (998802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239272)

Agreed, Quicktime player has to be one of the worst things ever, irrespective of the codec.

Re:Quicktime? (3, Insightful)

bondsbw (888959) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239438)

Very true for Windows. On a Mac it works fine.

Not that that is at all surprising... but I am a little surprised Apple doesn't make its Windows version better, seeing as Quicktime is the only computer-related Apple product many people come in contact with. It made me think poorly of them for years, until I actually used a Mac and found it to be better.

Re:Quicktime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36239980)

Yea, I mean most people have never heard of iTunes, iPads, iPods or iPhones, but Quicktime? Yea, everyone knows Quicktime....

Re:Quicktime? (5, Insightful)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240174)

iPads, iPods and iPhones are not computer related, they're consumer electronics. iTunes is crummy software, Quicktime is crummy software. If you don't have an Apple COMPUTER you would think Apple only writes crummy software. If they write crummy software, why would you use their OS? It's probably crummy.

Not that I believe that, but to a layperson it might appear that way.

Re:Quicktime? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#36249184)

In my experience most users don't even realise that there is an alternative. iTunes is just what you use to manage your iOS device, the same as most phones come with their own crapware even when you can just copy files via Explorer. Same with printers, people just assume you have to install the stupid monitor program and assorted shovelware on the disc to make it work.

Most people are pretty much at the mercy of software developers.

Similarly back when I worked in the field a few years back a lot of people had trouble understanding why their PCs got slower over time. A lot of them seem to have hear that it is because they had too much "stuff" on it, but assumed that referred to the amount of music or number of photos they stored. They would try moving things onto USB memory sticks or deleting old icons off the desktop. They almost never blamed Apple for the poor quality of iTunes, assuming it was something they did or that Microsoft/Dell/HP/Advent were responsible.

When people see "one click instant photo printing" on the box the ramifications of that, i.e. the always-running program it requires, don't even enter their minds.

Re:Quicktime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240040)

No, it's awful on Macs too. Before I discovered VLC for Mac, watching movies was the one job my old Dell laptop held on to as Quicktime is just so hopelessly bad.

Re:Quicktime? (1)

ifrag (984323) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240324)

Miro actually works pretty well also. I don't really care for all the other stuff baked into it (uTorrent finally has a Mac port), but as a media player it's smooth.

Re:Quicktime? (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241366)

I've never found fault with Quicktime on OS X for watching anything, at least as long as Perian is installed.

VLC, on the other hand, is horrid.

Re:Quicktime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240172)

Duh, why do they need to try and take over your computer when they already have it?

Back the the subject though, I love science!

Re:Quicktime? (1)

Myopic (18616) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240808)

Yeah but let's be fair, who the heck uses Windows anyway? /he types, from Windows

Re:Quicktime? (5, Funny)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239314)

Yea man. I am sticking to Adobe flash.

Re:Quicktime? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36239452)

It's at least 100 times better, which says a lot about Quicktime.

Re:Quicktime? (1)

repetty (260322) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241016)

Flash? 100 time better? On what planet?

Re:Quicktime? (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241192)

On the one when you're comparing Flash on Windows to Quicktime on Windows. If you're making the comparison on OSX it goes the other way. However, Quicktime literally runs on nothing but Windows and MacOS, so Flash wins big in lots of other places, too since Quicktime doesn't bother to show up. If you want to reach the absolute maximum number of device you use Flash. On Windows it uses acceleration well and on Linux with nVidia we also get acceleration that brings flash into the realm of reason. As a user of contemporary hardware there is no other reasonable choice for Linux unless you don't want to use your GPU for anything.

Re:Quicktime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36241202)

Than QuickTime? All of them.

Re:Quicktime? (1)

The Moof (859402) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239656)

sticking to Adobe flash

That <video> tag isn't becoming standardized and widely supported fast enough...

Re:Quicktime? (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241744)

At least flash is multi-platform consistent. It performs poorly everywhere, but it's something I expect. Quicktime and iTunes seem to particularly suck real bad in Windows

Re:Quicktime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36239628)

Apple shit

Do you mean 'Ape shit'?

Re:Quicktime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36239750)

Well that would explain Steve Jobs' surname...

I've got one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36239174)

University degrees!

Already slashdotted! :-( (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36239188)

This URL has already been slashdotted! If you know of a mirror please post link :-)

Last Year's Winner (4, Informative)

nharmon (97591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239200)

Re:Last Year's Winner (1)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239448)

I was genuinely surprised to not see Rick Astley. Oh how cynical you've made me, Internet.

Re:Last Year's Winner (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239784)

Oh no you don't. You're trying to trick me into thinking it's not Rick Astley so I will click on it.

Ha.

here is a better link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ [youtube.com]

Re:Last Year's Winner (1)

nharmon (97591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240700)

Ha! Rickroll interrupted by Youtube advertisement.

Re:Last Year's Winner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36239854)

I was expecting goatse.

Re:Last Year's Winner (1)

pthisis (27352) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247730)

Wow. That's pretty awesome, and after getting this year's page to load and seeing how crappy the entries are it's very awesome--only the first 2 of this year's entries were even mildly interesting, while last year's winner is fantastic.

Illusion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36239234)

This site creates good illusion of being slashdoted, oh wait...

Speaking of images nobody'll believe... (4, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239268)

Yesterday I ran across a visual I had to blink a few times to comprehend... Linky... [slashdot.org]

Re:Speaking of images nobody'll believe... (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239310)

Oh why, oh why did I blow all my mod points on the caffiene microbe article?!?

Thank you Slashdot for finally fixing the feeds and the sidebox alignment. It was getting really annoying! Now, if I could only convince work to punt IE...

Re:Speaking of images nobody'll believe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36242314)

Oh wow, me too - I dismissed "Duken Nukem Forever Goes Gold" as "Duke Nukem Forever delayed another year" without even looking at it. I genuinely thought they were being sarcastic.

You only THOUGHT ... (1)

TheCrig (3178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239342)

... they were in Florida.

Sony's Entry? (5, Funny)

AwooOOoo (1081997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239392)

Did Sony's firewall's make the cut for best optical illusion?

Re:Sony's Entry? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36239430)

This contest was for "illusions" not "delusions"

Site down (1)

wedgiesaurus (815742) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239398)

Site down, and the google cached one doesn't want to load. Anyone got a mirror link?

Slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36239408)

It is so.

What's the illusion here? (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239440)

http://gif.neuralcorrelate.com/finalists_2011/Masashi/fishbone.png [neuralcorrelate.com]

I see a fish carcass being sodomized. Am I missing it?

Re:What's the illusion here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240346)

I see a fish carcass being sodomized. Am I missing it?

When you look at the picture, do you not feel a downward pressure on your dick head?

(you did say sodomized)

Slashdot Insurance (2)

phatphoton (2099888) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239476)

Amazon/other cloud vendors would make a killing selling "Slashdot Protection" like insurance for bandwidth. If your site gets slashdotted, you're guaranteed a certain period of time of increased bandwidth for a nominal monthly fee.

Re:Slashdot Insurance (1)

WhitePanther5000 (766529) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239616)

You can already sorta do this with rackspace [rackspace.com] , among others. The problem is... how many bloggers, etc expect to get slashdotted enough to justify the cost?

Re:Slashdot Insurance (1)

mclearn (86140) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239660)

You can already do this with Amazon's Elastic Beanstalk. Yes, it costs. So would insurance.

Re:Slashdot Insurance (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239652)

They do, but it's not called slashdot protection.

Re:Slashdot Insurance (1)

ais523 (1172701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239668)

NearlyFreeSpeech apparently, when a site gets Slashdotted, charges them for the extra bandwidth at the time, but gives them a permanent discount thereafter. (It's a side-effect of their pricing structure, but an apparently deliberate one, presumably to persuade people to keep paying through the Slashdotting, as it's pre-paid.) That seems vaguely similar to what you're suggesting.

Re:Slashdot Insurance (1)

timepilot (116247) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240506)

Is that intercal in a sig?
That's awesome. Shouldn't it end with PLEASE GIVE UP?

Re:Slashdot Insurance (2)

ais523 (1172701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240978)

It's a one-liner (the shortest known algorithm to write an addition without using the standard library), not a complete program; it does nothing by itself. (I had to golf it right down to fit it in Slashdot's sig limits). It's not really recommended to do it quite like that in production code, as it uses a rather significant line number (1), and leaks all over your operand overloads without scoping them properly. It works in C-INTERCAL, and I think probably CLC-INTERCAL too, although it makes use of some relatively new additions to the language.

// C-INTERCAL comaintainer; see http://c.intercal.org.uk/ [intercal.org.uk] for a list of relevant C-INTERCAL links

Re:Slashdot Insurance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36241878)

*silence, crickets chirping*

slashdotted (3, Funny)

Thornburg (264444) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239492)

Apparently you need a 'mirror' to view these optical illusions...

Slashdotted (1)

bruno.fatia (989391) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239516)

Mirrors anyone?

Re:Slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240232)

Mirrors anyone?

Here is a mirror. [howstuffworks.com]

A great example (3, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239636)

of how the mind will make leaps and conclusion with minimal input.
Optical illusions are a great opportunity to teach people how to think rational about something that on initial view doesn't make sense or breaks reality.

Re:A great example (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239916)

are you talking about Windows Phone 7 and its marketing? lol

LoB

Slashdot (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239694)

Making old news look new again.

a black car followed by a white car (1)

wrench turner (725017) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239876)

TFA: The Exchange of Features, Textures and Faces - The binding problem is a fundamental issue in neuroscience. The term refers to the fact that the brain processes color, motion, and other visual features separately and in parallel, yet our perception is of a unified world, populated by coherent objects.

I've long marvelled that as I'm speeding down the freeway, a black car followed by a white car in the oncoming lane looks like a police car: a black car with a white door.

It would be nice to have animated .GIFs instead (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36239954)

I'd rather see these as animated .GIFs instead of Flash. sigh... oh well...
(yes, the 1990s called, they want their animation back...ha ha)

My investment account statement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240022)

nt

Re:My investment account statement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36243834)

INDEX

The article's an entry in itself (1)

Candid88 (1292486) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240096)

Wow, that's some optical illusion. It looks like an article on optical illusions when in fact if you look really closely, it's a 502 page.

Re:The article's an entry in itself (1)

cdpage (1172729) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240898)

yet another slashdot victim

TSA should win... (1)

Patent Lover (779809) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240384)

... for the illusion of security.

Mirror for First Place Winner (1)

IceFoot (256699) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240558)

The first place winner is called "Silencing Awareness of Change by Background Motion" and is the blinking-dots-in-a-circle illusion.

Several versions here: http://visionlab.harvard.edu/silencing/ [harvard.edu]

Best 500 internal error illusion ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240858)

I swear I can smell the smoke from their server when I get the internal error due to be slashdotted.
 

Look at the left hand.... (3, Insightful)

Beer_Smurf (700116) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241072)

Best Optical Illusion of the Year is going on right now
Tornados and Obama meeting with the queen hides discussion of the Patriot Act from the media.

Re:Look at the left hand.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36244730)

Tornados and Obama meeting with the queen hides discussion of the Patriot Act from the media.

Why are tornadoes meeting with the Queen?

Another interesting phenomenon (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36241668)

Around three months ago, a group of researchers at CMU discovered a property [goo.gl] inherent in the EM spectrum used in van Eck phreaking.

FYI all (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 3 years ago | (#36242400)

It's one of the more hideous webpages I've seen since Angelfire died.
The illusions are all linked, and then the videos ARE LOWER ON THE SAME PAGE.

So when you load the page, and wait....and wait....and wait....it's loading a bunch of quicktime (ugh) videos below in large preview screens. be patient, it will eventually come up.

Wow, failsite.

Bad captions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36244664)

The explanations on some of the illusions are terrible. There were at least three that I skipped because I couldn't tell what I was supposed to be seeing...

Flash doesn't work for the features/textures one (1)

Old Wolf (56093) | more than 3 years ago | (#36245320)

For entry number 8, http://illusionoftheyear.com/2011/the-exchange-of-features-textures-and-faces/ [illusionoftheyear.com] , the Flash thing doesn't display properly. It says to "move the slider" but there is no slider (just a 255 that you can't alter), and there are no "Harry and Dobby" in Demo 1. The others all work fine. Tried in Firefox and IE latest versions. Have latest Flash (10.3).

Even the background image is an optical illusion (1)

mmj638 (905944) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247664)

I love the background image up the sides of that site - that look like domino pieces of something.

Even that is a pretty cool optical illusion!

Illusions fail (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 3 years ago | (#36248086)

There's a lot of fail in that series of "illusions". I'm particularly annoyed with #5, the "Mask of Love". Yeah, it's amazing how three people discovered that a blurry, low-res image is ambiguous and might look like some other blurry, low-res image. Welcome to 2400 baud pr0n, dumbasses!

I suppose, when one's career consists of selling optical illusions , after a while you start scraping the bottom of the barrel...

Hehe, cool (1)

atomicbutterfly (1979388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36249440)

It was fun to look at all these illusions.

It was not fun to read half the comments complain about Quicktime/Flash, whereas a thread regarding the illusions anywhere else would have focused on, I dunno, discussion about the ILLUSIONS.

legos=no go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36250074)

the lego one sucks balls unless you're looking at the first two examples which don't use legos. when they use the legos it sucks ass.

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