The 2nd annual "Best Visual Illusion of the Year" contest is over and the winner is in (see the first years winner here). This year it is Max R. Dürsteler, Dep. of Neurology, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland.
To experience the full effect of this illusion go to his contest submission site here and download some of his quality views of this illusion. Keep repeating to yourself that the center circle is spinning at a constant rate. The beauty of this illusion is our insistence that the center rotating image does in fact stop on occasion.
Submissions for the 2007 contest are now welcome. Submit your ideas now and take home this prestigious award!
About the contest
"The contest is a celebration of the ingenuity and creativity of the world’s premier visual illusion research community. Visual illusions are those perceptual experiences that do not match the physical reality. Our perception of the outside world is generated indirectly by brain mechanisms, and so all visual perception is illusory to some extent. The study of visual illusions is therefore of critical importance to the understanding of the basic mechanisms of sensory perception, as well as to cure many diseases of the visual system. The visual illusion community includes visual scientists, ophthalmologists, neurologists, and visual artists that use a variety of methods to help discover the neural underpinnings of visual illusory perception."