Newly Reported Curvature Blindness Illusion

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A new paper published in the November-December edition of the journal i-Perception has outlined a conflict that can exist in the brain, triggered by a kind of optical illusion, identified as the “curvature blindness illusion.” 

The illusion (pictured) begs the question: What do you see in the gray, middle section—curved lines, angled lines, or both? 

According to the report, “If you see alternating rows of wavy and zigzagging lines (like all study participants did), you’re both right and wrong.” In truth, “every line in this image is an identical, wavy shape.” However, for reasons that remain uncertain, according to the report, “our brains reliably see sharp-cornered zigzags stitched across the middle section of the image. 

One hypothesis presented by the researcher is “that the human brain has separate mechanisms for identifying curved shapes and angular shapes, and that these mechanisms tend to interfere or compete with each other.” 

The full report is available online at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5703117/.

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