An image of several spheres that at first glance may appear red, purple or green actually contains only 12 objects of a soft beige color. But why we see the spheres as multicolored, David Novick, creator of the illusion and professor of engineering education and leadership at the University of Texas at El Paso, has wondered. The results of his work were published in Live Science.
This visual illusion arises because of an effect known as the Munker-White phenomenon. The illusion occurs because our eyes, in the course of evolution, are more adapted to distinguish the shapes of objects rather than their colors. In this case, reducing the size of the illusion only strengthens the effect of “variegated” spheres, while increasing the image allows you to see the true color of objects in the background and lines in the foreground.
At the moment, experts have two versions of the reasons why the brain processes the image “incorrectly. One says that the illusion occurs during initial image processing, when visible light only enters the retina. Another version suggests that the brain makes the error when it processes the data coming through the eyes. However, in 2010 it was suggested that the “error” is formed and accumulated at all stages of perception.