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Staring At This Illusion For Too Long Can Affect Your Sight Over Three Months
By Mikelle Leow, 19 Nov 2018
Image via Shutterstock
Admittedly, optical illusions are a fantastic way to stay entertained in an era when everything seems like the same old, same old. For some reason, the human vision hasn’t evolved enough to ensure you’re not seeing things that aren’t there.
While most of these puzzles are harmless, you might need to be cautious about where you indulge your visual illusion mania in sometimes.
Picked up by INSIDER, an occurrence known as the ‘McCollough effect’ reveals that if you stare at colored plaids and gratings for too long, its effects can play out over the next few months.
The phenomenon was discovered by American psychologist Celeste McCollough in 1965, and researchers Alan Robinson and Don McLeod revisited the study in 2011.
As it seems, looking at a set of grids, shown below, for over 10 minutes can cause the effect to last even after three months.
Brace yourself—here’s how the illusion works. Look at the red-and-black grid on the left for a few seconds, then do the same for the green-and-black stripes on the right. Switch between both images for at least three minutes.
After which, look at the black-and-white grating located directly beneath. The white horizontal stripes should “turn” green, whereas the white vertical stripes should appear red.
Images via Fredifortakeoff / Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY-SA 4.0)
Images via English Wikipedia / Wikimedia Commons (public domain)
Here’s why these colors might be popping up in places they’re not supposed to appear in. The boldly-hued pictures spur an “afterimage,” which means the strong colors leave an impression on the visual system and influence it to believe that it’s looking at colors that aren’t there.
Similar to how a camera’s flash might leave an imprint on your mind for a few seconds, the ‘McCollough effect’ can endure for over three months if you stare at it for too long. Yikes.
[via INSIDER, images via various sources]
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