The Swiss physician, politician and philosopher, Ignaz Troxler is best known for his intriguing illusion “Troxler’s effect’. It is a visual trick that creates mind-boggling illusion when someone looks at it.
Interestingly, there are many optical illusion images that will make you rethink about a lot of things. Troxler’s effect provides one such image. Take a look at this image and carefully focus on the center for a couple of seconds.
Apparently, after a few seconds, you will notice the pattern and colours fading and turning the image white slowly and steadily. The lighter colours and the shapes on the periphery will start disappearing initially and within a minute or so, the entire image gets settled into the background, leaving grey squares and later blank white imagery.
This latest visual illusion is questing realities all over the social media after an eye-care specialist shared the image on Twitter and asked to focus on the center of the image.
Stare at the image for about half a minute without moving your eyes and watch as it gradually disappears. This is a variation of #Troxler’s effect which essentially says that if you fixate your eyes on a certain point, stimuli near that point will gradually fade. pic.twitter.com/qjIrhKpO2V
— David McPhillips (@primaryeyecare1) March 12, 2018
The colour disappears because when you keep staring at the central point of the image, a time comes when the brain stops paying attention to visual scenes that don’t change.
Obviously, the image never goes away in reality, but our brain works in such a way that it creates a visual illusion to cope with the thousands of sensations, that it is exposed to on a constant basis. This phenomenon is called selective processing.
The brain filters out the extra information in order to focus on the important stuff. To do so, the brain tunes out visual stimuli that don’t transform and that results in the fading of colours. While you were focusing on the center, the brain decided that the nearby shapes have no importance in the context and the mind filled in the white spaces.
Intriguingly, this kind of an illusion happens to us every day because our eyes and its surroundings are constantly shifting. But we naively carry on with our activities and the illusions pass away unnoticed.
The illusion in the above image becomes unique because of the fact that we rarely fix our eyes on an image with so much attention. Moreover, the image is made in such a way with blurry and light faded colours, that it stimulates us like some kind of sorcery.
Fun fact – You can notice the selective processing even better with other senses in your body, like the reason why you rarely smell your perfume just after application, or sometimes you are not aware of the feel of your clothes on your skin.
Fascinating, isn’t it?!