Each year, scientists, researchers, and illusion enthusiasts convene in Naples, Florida, to elect the 10 best new optical illusions of the year at the Best Illusion of the Year contest. (Apparently, there is a substantial “visual illusion research community.”)
The broader theme is how sensory perception works, and researchers range from those in the medical field (ophthalmologists and neurologists) to visual scientists and visual artists. The contest is sponsored by the Neural Correlate Society, a nonprofit dedicated to understanding the neural underpinnings of our sensory and cognitive experiences.
This year’s crop of winners messes with our heads, which is of course to be expected. They trick us into reconsidering our sense of what relative size is, they nudge us into seeing motion in a static image, and they make us unable to properly process colors. Scroll through the slide show up top to see some of these rather amazing images.