The Dynamic Ebbinghaus Illusion

Estimation, Video 30 May 2014 0 Comments

The 10th annual edition of the Best Illusion of the Year contest was held on May 18, 2014 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Taking home the prestigious first place prize were Christopher D. Blair, Gideon P. Caplovitz, and Ryan E.B. Mruczek from the University of Nevada Reno.  Their illusion was a new twist on an old illusion called the Ebbinghaus Illusion.  In the original illusion, two circles are presented side-by-side that are identical in size.  One is surrounded by larger circles and the other is surrounded by smaller circles.  When asked which circle appears bigger, people typically assume that that one surrounded by the smaller circles is larger than the other one.

In this updated video version, the circles surrounding the center circle expand and contract.  As they do, the center circle seems to also change in size even though it remains the same.  Have a look for yourself.

Without seeing any of the other candidates, do you think that this was a good choice for first place in this contest?

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