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Rob van Lier, PhD
Associate Professor


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<<A few illusions>>

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a double neon color

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

The more-or-less morphing face illusion
Van Lier & Koning (2011)

This illusion was among the 10 illusions nominated for the Best Visual Illusion of the Year, edition 2011 (selected from 170 entries)

The illusion comprises a morphing sequence between two faces. The observer has to fixate a dot superimposed on the morph. When the dot is moving, morphing can hardly be seen. However, when the dot suddenly stops, the morphing appears surprisingly strong. Subtle differences in, e.g., the shape of the eyes, the color of the skin, and even gender characteristics are ‘blown-up’ perceptually. Apparently, such differences between faces are easily overlooked when following a moving-dot, but are highly salient when our eyes rest at a single point on the morphing faces.

The illusion can also be seen here (New Scientist)

An earlier Abstract (ECVP) can be found here (a paper is in preparation)