WHY IS THIS PIC­TURE MOV­ING?

iD magazine - - Body & Mind -

Let your gaze roam over the brown ovals: Only what your eyes fix­ate on is sta­ble. Ev­ery­thing out­side the fo­cus seems to be strangely mov­ing in waves. This op­ti­cal il­lu­sion is called pe­riph­eral drift, and it is based on the bright­ness dif­fer­ences in the im­age and not on the colors used. The light and dark ar­eas con­fuse the mo­tion sen­sors in our brains and trick them into de­tect­ing un­du­la­tion. In­ci­den­tally, this al­ways oc­curs in the di­rec­tion from dark to light.

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