Benhams Disk Color Illusion

Also known as Benham’s Disk, this colour illusion plays with your eyes’ colour processing capacity. Which colours do you see?

Usually when we see a nice illusion animation, it’s the same for everyone, or there are only two possible versions. Not so with Benham’s Top, which can look different to pretty much everyone. I see dark brown and yellow. What about you?

The illusion is an astounding one. Here’s Wikipedia on how we think it works:

The phenomenon is not entirely understood. One possible reason people see colors may be that the color receptors in the human eye respond at different rates to red, green, and blue. More specifically, the latencies of the center and the surrounding mechanisms differ for the different types of color-specific ganglion cells.

The phenomenon originates from neural activity in the retina and spatial interactions in the primary visual cortex, which plays a role in encoding low-level image features, such as edges and spatiotemporal frequency components.Research indicates that the blue-yellow opponent process accounts for all the different PIFCs.

So, turns out that we don’t actually know what’s causing the illusion!

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