What you think you see is often not reality, and local scientists have revealed that it is your brain, not your eyes, that tricks you.
Scientists from the Institute of Neuroscience of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai have peered inside our brains to understand the underlying mechanisms.
What we see through our eyes, including lines, patterns and colors, is transmitted back to the visual cortex, which is the brain’s “image processing center” and the most important gateway to cognition, language and other high-level functions.
Visual illusions occur when our brains try to make assumptions about something unknown or rarely seen in the natural world.
The Pinna illusion offers an example of how our brains fool us. When people stay focused on the dot in the center of a Pinna figure and move their head toward or away from the image, they will see the two concentric rings start to rotate. The inner circle will rotate clockwise and the outer one counter-clockwise, depending on the layout of the micro-patterns within the inner and outer rings.
But in reality, you are looking at two stationary rings in a still picture.
The medial superior temporal area (MST) of our brain represents the illusory motions as if they were real, it was revealed in a research article published in the journal Neuroscience today.
Neurons in the MST area of the visual cortex can be activated not only when we perceive real motion, but also when we “imagine” illusory motion as well, according to leading researcher Wang Wei.
The findings may help to understand how “visual information” is transmitted and processed by the brain.