We all know of at least one optical illusion, containing images which trick our brain into seeing something that isn’t actually present in the picture. A team of researchers from Chukyo University, Japan, have decided to test the brain’s reaction to such images, and discovered an interesting phenomenon. Sometimes, it exhibits curvature blindness, which turns waves into sharp lines.
What is curvature blindness?
Curvature blindness is an interesting reaction of the brain which can easily be explained with the help of an optical illusion. Therefore, researchers decided to illustrate the illusion with the help of a series of curves and dashes. The image displays a series of such curves and zig-zags carefully arranged over a background in three different colors, white, grey, and black.
All the lines appear curved while laid over the white and black background. Once you look at the grey background, you’ll see that some of them get sharp corners and turn into zig-zags. However, you have to look closely, as this is only a trick your brain is playing on you. Actually, all the lines are wavy.
Our brains are more used to corners than to curves
This is an example of curvature blindness. All the waves are made dark and light grey dashes put one after another. If these dashes end as they reach the top of a wave, they will seem to create a sharp peak. When the dashes end somewhere below the peak, the lines will appear curvy, just like they actually are.
Researchers aren’t actually sure why our brain suffers from curvature blindness. They assume our brains are used to spotting sharp corners ahead of curves. Therefore, as soon as this confusing background steps in, the brains easily mistake the waves for zig-zags. Also, the fact that the dashes are colored in dark and light grey might make them look like shadows.