Your Brain Refuses to Let You See All the Dots in This Illusion at Once

Brains are weird, wildly impressive organs – no doubt about it. They do strange things, they do wonderful things, and even though we may never fully understand them, we (obviously) can’t live without them.

For example, stare for a while at the image below.


Notice anything odd? Like when your eyes focus on one of the gray intersections, two or three black dots appear. But the longer you stare, the more the dots in your periphery fade. Not only that, but if you change the direction of your gaze, they’ll shift to a different spot altogether.

The Verge reports that the optical illusion, shared by Japanese psychology professor Akiyoshi Kitaoka in September, is due to the fact that humans have poor peripheral vision. Most people are incapable of seeing all 12 black dots in the image at the same time.

In fact, our eyes are so poor at processing information that sits in our periphery while simultaneously focusing on what’s in front of us, that our brains make guesses to fill in the gaps.

In case you’re curious, seeing objects in our periphery isn’t the only thing our eyes struggle to do well – the half-assed way we process color makes different optical illusions possible. Like that damned dress.

h/t: Mental Floss