Perception & Awareness Donders Institute Logo
Rob van Lier, PhD
Associate Professor


Publications etc.

<<A few illusions>>

PhD projects


Public activities 




a double neon color

Dancing Shapes Con-fusing Contours catching patches rivalry Afterimage filling-in face

Filling in the afterimage after the image 
Van Lier & Vergeer ( Best Visual illusion of the Year 2008)

FIRST PRIZE  in the 'Best illusion of the year' competition (Naples, Florida,  2008).

This illusion has been published in: 
Van Lier, R., Vergeer, M., Anstis, S. (2009). Filling-in afterimage colors between the lines. Current Biology, 19(8), R323-R324 (pdf, pdf-supplementary) 

Please fixate at the dot between the star figures. After a few cycles, differently colored afterimages appear between the contours presented after the colored stars. Notice that the left and right colored stars are identical.

Clearly, the afterimage colors in the center depend on the contours that are presented after the colored stars. 
So, at the same retinal locations different afterimage colors are perceived. 

© van Lier & Vergeer 

Using illusory contours( fixate at the center)... 

© van Lier & Vergeer

Here is a Powerpoint file with various examples of the illusion.

Check also the "Best illusion of the year"  website. 

The illusion has aslso been described in the 2010 Scientific American Issue on visual illusions: 

Cover Scientific American