Scientists are left baffled by mind-bending animated optical illusion.
As you move your eyes around the above image, dark dots appear and disappear at the intersections. However, the dark dots vanish, when you look directly on any intersection!
The dots in this animation are moving in random directions in straight trajectories without colliding. By focusing on the cross the dots seem to be wriggling around.
In this paper, we report on a novel visual motion illusion. When hundreds of dots move in straight trajectories and random directions without colliding, the trajectories are perceived as wriggling rather than straight (bottom). We examined the nature of this “wriggling motion trajectory illusion” via six separate experiments. The illusion was most pronounced when there were a large number of dots (top). The illusion was independent of both the distance covered (Experiment 3) and the observer’s eye movements (Experiment 4) as well as the dot types (Experiment 5). We also showed that the proximity among the moving dots plays a role in the illusion (Experiment 6).