Perceptual Transparency Illusion

The brain settles transparency problems very well.  It can even make things disappear; as it makes our noses disappear.  The only way to look directly at one's own nose is to use only one eye.  The brain edits out our noses so that our world view is unobstructed.  This transparency trick requires binocular vision, and also allows the hunter to see through foliage and tall grass while remaining perfectly still.

In this illusion the brain is presented with a simple transparency problem.  Is the green triangle solid or transparent?  Is it behind the spokes or in front?  The answer is; both.  It can be transparent and in front in one moment or solid and behind the spokes in the next.  The brain has no trouble with either aspect, and happily flips back and forth. 

Click on the illusion to <start><stop> the action.


Credits: Java Applet: 2001 Tony Azevedo.

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