This Tuesday, you don’t need any equipment to try this experiment at home – you just need to stare at your screen, or more specifically the video clip below:
(don’t worry we aren’t trying to hypnotise you!)
Stare in the dot in the middle of the circle for 20 seconds, you can blink but don’t look away, keep your eyes focused there. After 20 seconds look at someone’s face, if there’s no one around you, get a face up on screen that you can quickly look at.
What did you see?
Hopefully, if it worked you should have seen the face appearing to get bigger. Obviously, it didn’t really grow before your eyes, this is simply an optical illusion playing a trick on your brain.
You see things because your eyes send messages to your brain about different types of light, shapes and movement and your brain makes up an image of the world around you. When you stare at the spinning disk for so long, your eyes continually send messages to you brain to say its spinning. Your brain gets a bit bored of hearing the same message over and over again so kind of stops listening, tunes out the messages and just assumes from now on, this is how it is – everything is spinning.
So when you look away at a face or your hands or anything really, your brain thinks it should be spinning so gets confused and spins the image in the opposite direction, making it appear to grow. After a few seconds, your brain will hopefully catch up and everything will go back to normal.