While the phantoms in Myriad Colors Phantom World may not be real, the psychology is! Check out our in-depth look into the visual perception phenomena that main character Haruhiko Ichijo talks about.
Ever wondered why your brain sees either a vase or two faces? Well, first your brain tries to interpret the basic visual input such as color and form, groups them together, and then identifies edges. Your brain then tries to determine which is the object and which is the ground—like the foreground or background of the image. Depending on how your brain interprets the edges, you’ll see either a vase or two faces first!
When you look at these arrows, they may appear to be different sizes, but in reality—they’re the same! Due to the angles of the arrows—one set drawn inward and the other outward—your brain judges the depth differently at first look. But really, they’re all the same.
Checker Shadow Illusion
Looking at these checkers, you’d think A and B were two totally different colors. But by observing the object in the corner, you can see that there’s a shadow being casted over B. Though it appears darker, it’s still the same color. Because your mind sees B casted in shadow next to A, which is not, it concludes that B is a completely different color.
The Ebbinghaus Illusion takes advantage of your depth perception by surrounding two same-sized circles with differently sized circles. Because one has larger circles surrounding it, the middle seems smaller than the one surrounded by smaller circles. This is simply because of their size relative to the objects around them. Your brain interprets them as different because the juxtaposition of the circles is different.
This is a fun technique often used with Instagram photos, filmmaking, tourism shots (like the Leaning Tower of Pisa), architecture, and maybe you’ve even used it for a certain Attack on Titan contest! This optical illusion makes an object appear farther away, closer, larger, or smaller than it actually is. It manipulates your visual perception with objects of varying scale, and the vantage point of the camera.
In this version of White’s illusion, this optical trickery uses red blocks covered with yellow and blue stripes to form another color-changing illusion. The blue stripes blocking the red causes your brain to see the rectangle as lighter due to the contrast of the colors. And when blocked by the yellow stripes, the colors appear darker due to the reverse contrast.
Simultaneous Contrast Illusion
Similar to the Ebbinghaus Illusion, this visual phenomenon uses the power of contrasting colors to trick your mind. The colors in the middle are all the same, but due to the brighter or more dynamic colors surrounding each one, your eyes see different shades, and sometimes completely different colors! Like the Ebbinghaus, this illusion could work with black, white, and gray.