Stare at the dot


This is a lovely and somewhat strange illusion. Stare at the red dot in the left-hand image for about 20 seconds, and then look at the centre of the right-hand image. All being well, lots of strange stuff will happen in your brain…..

Did it work for you? What did you see? People seem to see different things.


56 comments on “Stare at the dot

  1. significance says:

    Is the 3D effect what I’m looking for?

    • Kag says:

      a 3Dish net like thing.

      maybe i wasn’t focusing as much cause partially i’m trying to count to 20. (i’m a bad multi tasker)

  2. infophile says:

    For me, the right image went completely grey when I looked at it… though maybe I wasn’t looking right at the center.

    • fluffy says:

      Same here. Also, while staring at the red dot I became VERY aware of my eyes’ natural saccade, because every minute perturbation showed up quite immensely.

    • infophile says:

      Tried it again, and this time it seems to look like a checkerboard pattern (if a bit greyed out).

    • It’s supposed to be grayed out. Your eyes suffer retinal fatigue looking at the white zones (contrasted by the blurred black) and show the negative of the image (white turns to black; black causes little fatigue), so when you move over to the next image, the “fatigued pattern” fits over the white, creating a solid image in your brain, even as a patterned image sits in front of you.

      At least, I *think* that’s right. lol

    • Ian says:

      Yep, all grey here too

  3. sands says:

    I saw ripples on the right image. Is that it?

  4. Petros says:

    Nope! Looked the same to me.

  5. The Pick Man says:

    For me the right-hand image repeatedly popped into and out of focus.

  6. Anataboga says:

    Briefly the right hand image became a chequered pattern.

  7. JohnF says:

    For about fifteen seconds, I saw a thick line going from top-right to bottom-left turn all blurry and flicker a lot. It was quite freaky.

  8. G I Jones says:

    The right hand image started rippling in the centre of the image.

  9. Suzanne says:

    Definitely flickering and twitchy

  10. jimarch says:

    For me, the right image went flickered a bit before going completely grey, but I also got a faded image to the right of that, presumably from having had an image just to the right of the one I was originally staring at.

  11. Anthony says:

    I also saw it turning flat grey and rippling effects after that. I did not see a checkered pattern or flickering. It is pretty freaky, that’s for sure.

  12. Dave Mills says:

    I could see the dot from the left image flashing in my peripheral vision.

  13. N says:

    Flat grey for me, although it did alter slightly at points.

  14. Jake the Yak says:

    Looked like a pulsating brain from a b-grade horror flick.

  15. PeterJ says:

    The diagonal from top right to bottom left oscillated from side to side – quite a persistent effect too.

    • LB says:

      I had a similar experience. The left image moved smoothly to the left one time then oscillated side to side.

  16. sam says:

    My eyes got really itchy and started watering. Neat subliminal advertising for eye drops.

  17. Lazy T says:

    so that’s where fog comes from

  18. Yeah, it works. Basically, parts of the image fade in and out. Sometimes it’s only the lines in a “/” direction that fade, sometimes it’s only the lines in a “\” direction that fade, sometimes it’s only a particular section of the image that fades, and sometimes it’s the whole image.

  19. Magic Nuts says:

    I’m seeing all kinds of weirdness. Checkerboard pattern; rippling movement; grey patches; general fuzziness.

  20. Karen McKenzie says:

    Effect 1: almost disappeared entirely. Superseded by Effect 2: checkerboard only at the bottom right hand corner up to the middle and blank at the top left to middle, superseded by Effect 3: rugby ball shape with a cross in the middle. Then finally flickery and twitch and general fuzziness back to the general fuzzy original.

  21. I see a cross… 😀

  22. Gaxx says:

    I saw just the image as it was before I started doing all of the staring…

  23. Fiona says:

    i saw a checkerboard effect

  24. Carol says:

    Some of the lines disappeared and others became more prominent so the star shape disappeared – kind of looked like half of a three-dimensional ball for a while at one point.

  25. patrick says:

    good variation on the theme of retinal retention – using one image to cancel out the other – and waves , not unlike the original title sequence to Dr Who (1963 version) appear to result.

  26. Livedman says:

    The image on the right looked a bit 3Dish

  27. Sebastián Hoch says:

    The right image moved a lot and looked distorted.

    Great illusion, probably the best I’ve seen here.

  28. Steve says:

    Thats nice, it turned 3D for me!

  29. M says:

    Weird effect, it blurred and became more clear, blurred again etc.

    the effect stops when i stopped moving my eyes.

  30. Emma says:

    The line going down from left to right seemed to move back and forth. Did other people see that?!

  31. agata says:

    I saw a ball with a kind of pattern, like a golf ball, for a couple of seconds.

  32. George Jelliss says:

    Nothing happened.

  33. Jerry says:

    Yes. The right-hand pattern appears to vibrate.

  34. D says:

    Very cool. 😀

  35. […] Stare at the dot This is a lovely and somewhat strange illusion. Stare at the red dot in the left-hand image for about 20 seconds, and […] […]

  36. redcat says:

    It just went sort of solid grey for me. No special effects.

  37. alex says:

    very bizarre

  38. […] Richard Wiseman Blog Tags: Cognition, Illusions, Visual Comments RSS feed LikeBe the first to like this […]

  39. Ben B says:

    If you practice, you can make the picture on the right warp without looking at the dot…

  40. Drew says:

    Hmm, I saw a quite clear 3D ball in the center, then it started alternating between the cross stripes thing and nearly blank grey.

  41. Mihai barti says:

    aswome :)) :X template

  42. redcat says:

    redcat, User is required to read all instruction manuals and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. Xtremerctoys DOES NOT accept any responsibility for injury, crash, damage, loss of kits or accessories, parts and materials that occur during the use of any radio-controlled model. Great care shall be taken when using RC products.

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