AN OPTICAL illusion test is said to reveal whether your mental images are more vivid than others.
It’s called the “Ganzflicker” and it’s an intense red and black flickering screen that can make you hallucinate things that aren’t there but you should never try it if you have photosensitive epilepsy.
You shouldn’t try the experiment if you have photosensitive epilepsy[/caption]
A new study published online in the journal Cortex has revealed how some people see things like castles and sweeping lights, while other people see nothing.
The Ganzflicker used for the study can be accessed online but you shouldn’t try it if you have epilepsy.
A warning on the page states: “Do not click the following link if you have photosensitive epilepsy!!
“If you do not have epilepsy but the Ganzflicker is highly unpleasant for you, you are not obligated to continue.”
The experiment can make people see things that aren’t there[/caption]
If you don’t have photosensitive epilepsy and want to try the test yourself you can click this link.
In less than 10 minutes the screen can alter your state of consciousness.
However, the researchers say there are no lasting effects on the brain.
Some people who watch the flashing screen will see pseudo-hallucinations.
This is because your brain tries to make sense of the all the lights and ‘fill in the gaps’ in your comprehension of the images.
The Ganzflicker can determine if someone has a vivid imagination or not.
People with a condition called aphantasia, which can leave people unable to visualise the faces of their friends and family, won’t see any pseudo-hallucinations.
The study notes: “There are considerable individual differences in visual mental imagery ability across the general population, including a “blind mind’s eye”, or aphantasia.”
Then, there are people at the other extreme who have brains that will convince them that they’re viewing very real objects.
The researcher explains on the Ganzflicker page: “A visual flicker is known to induce “Ganzfeld imagery” (Allefeld et al., 2011; Sumich et al., 2018), a type of visual pseudo-hallucination.
“The continuous flicker facilitates visual imagery, but does not induce any permanent changes in the brain and does not elicit actual hallucinations.
“I am interested to learn about the association between any illusions you see, and the vividness of your visual imagery.”
For the best results, you should watch on a full screen and in a dark room.
The science behind optical illusions
This brief explanation may help to unscramble your brain…
- Optical illusions make a little bit more sense when you learn that our eyes have very little to do with what we see and it is our brains that play the key role in creating images and trying to protect us from the potential threats around us
- Our brain is constantly trying to make sense of the world at the quickest pace it can despite the world being in 3D and the images on our retinas being in 2D
- It can be really difficult for your brain to interpret everything at once so it will often take shortcuts and give you a simplified version of what you see so you can have quicker reaction times if the object you’re looking at looks dangerous
- When you look at an object what you’re really seeing is the light that bounced off of it and entered your eye, which is converted into electrical impulses that your brain then turns into an image
- Our brains can warp straight lines if an object in the middle of them looks like it’s drawing closer as it wants to emphasize the potential threat
- Different colours and light and dark can make the same sized objects look different or make patterned images look like they’re spinning
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For more brainteasers, can YOU spot the fourth person drinking whisky in this mind boggling optical illusion?
And this couple took a snap on their new sofa & accidentally created an optical illusion which made it look like they’ve switched heads.
Plus this woman was horrified after her ‘cute’ bikini snap goes viral for showing ‘penis’.
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