THIS fiendishly tricky optical illusion asks viewers to identify the hidden resemblance between the two pears.
While the pieces of fruit appear to be a different color, in reality they look a lot more alike than you might think.
Although one pear looks darker than the other under the black and white lines, they are both the same shade.
This mechanism is an example of the illusion of luminosity.
Similar visual puzzles have been around for over 100 years and follow a familiar pattern.
Typically, two identical objects are placed on a striped or gradient background.
Objects appear very different depending on where they are placed relative to the background.
In June 2020, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology investigated the mechanism behind the illusions.
They showed that the phenomenon is based on a quirk in the way our brains process what we see.
When we look at an image, we estimate the brightness of an object before the visual information reaches the visual cortex of the brain.
This means that objects of the same color may appear lighter or darker than they are depending on the background against which they are presented.
“All of our experiments point to the conclusion that this is a low-level phenomenon,” MIT Professor Pawan Sinha said at the time.
“The results help answer the question of what is the mechanism underlying this very fundamental process of brightness estimation, which is a building block of many other types of visual analyses.”
Optical illusions are often just a little fun, but they also have real value for scientists.
Brain puzzles help researchers shed light on the inner workings of the mind and how it responds to its environment.
Dr Gustav Kuhn, a psychologist and expert in human perception at Goldsmiths University in London, told The Sun in June that illusions are important to our understanding of the brain.
“We usually take perception for granted and rarely think about the hard work that goes into everyday tasks, like seeing a cup of coffee in front of you,” he said.
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