You Won't See All The Dots At Once In This Optical Illusion

A seemingly simple line and dot optical illusion by Akiyoshi Kitaoka, a professor of Psychology at the College of Letters, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan, went viral online. Why? This black dot illusion can trip anyone up, as it shows a network of gray lines on a white background. Within this matrix, there are 12 black dots, each at the intersection of some gray lines. The maddening part about this is that you can't see all the black dots at once.

One reason we can't see all the dots at once is due to our not-perfect peripheral vision. The density of photoreceptors in our eyes plummets in our peripheral vision, meaning if you're not staring straight at something, it becomes a lot harder to make out. But you can also blame lateral inhibition. Because the black dots sitting at gray line intersections do not contrast as much, our brain washes over the dots with gray, rendering them invisible. To see it in action, check out the video below.

The 12 Dot Illusion, Explained

Crazy how when the dots move up slightly, you can see them all perfectly.

How Do Optical Illusions Work?

It's all your tricky, tricky brain.

How Your Illusions Fool Your Brain

You brain is changing what you actually see.

3 Optical Illusions That Exploit Your Visual System

Get ready to be really confused.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Our brains may perceive colors based on how they compare to surrounding colors. 00:34

  2. The flash lag illusion reveals that we're actually living ever so slightly in the past. 01:05

Written by Curiosity Staff September 29, 2016

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