Healing Grid Optical Illusion

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 28, 2021

Healing Grid

Healing Grid is an optical illusion by Ryota Kanai that was a finalist in the 2005 Best Illusion of the Year Contest. If you stare at the center of the image for several seconds, the broken edges start to "repair" themselves in your peripheral vision. Explains Kanai: "This illusion seems to indicate the preference of the visual brain to see regular patterns." (via @stevesilberman)

Update: Kanai and several co-authors later wrote a scientific paper about this illusion: The Uniformity Illusion: Central Stimuli Can Determine Peripheral Perception.

We argue that the uniformity illusion is the result of a reconstruction of sparse visual information (from the periphery) based on more readily available detailed visual information (from the fovea), which gives rise to a rich, but illusory, experience of peripheral vision.

(via @kanair)