Scientists from Caltech have a created a new ‘time-travelling’ illusion that tricks your brain into seeing something that isn’t there.
The illusion, called The Rabbit Illusion, reveals how your senses can influence each other – in particular how sound can give rise to visual illusions.
To test the illusion for yourself, make sure you’re wearing headphones, then click the video.
It asks you to focus on a cross at the top of the screen, while watching for flashes near the bottom of the screen.
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The Rabbit Illusion
You’re then asked how many flashes appeared.
Most viewers are likely to say that they saw three flashes, but in actual fact, only two appeared.
This is due to the fact that three beeps were heard, tricking your brain into seeing three flashes.
This shows that a sound can excite a visual illusion – which could give clues about how the brain combines senses.
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Dr Noelle Stiles, first author of the study, said: “These illusions are among the very rare cases where sound affects vision, not vice versa, indicating dynamic aspects of neural processing that occur across space and time.
“These new illusions will enable researchers to identify optimal parameters for multisensory integration, which is necessary for both the design of ideal sensory aids and optimal training for low-vision individuals."