Optical Illusion Ignites the Spirit of Imaginative Play

Are you an avid fan of mind games and eye tricks? If you are the type of person that has a knack for solving mysteries and anything that is out of the ordinary, then you will probably find the concept of optical illusion very interesting.


Optical illusion, or also known as visual illusion, represents an image and or idea that is often far from what people see, think, and feel.




Would you believe that Aakash Nihalani, a street artist from Brooklyn, New York, put together pieces of bright-colored tapes in order to turn the dull areas of his city into something that is unique but very appealing? What started out as a hobby for a simple intention became one of the ultimate sources of creativity and inspiration that never fails to captivate and intrigue people across the globe.


Optical illusion is like looking at an abstract painting that generates various forms, images, and meanings depending on the person looking at it even though it has a fixed interpretation. This is because optical illusion has three types:

  • Literal illusion – creates a perceived image that is apart from what is intended.
  • Physiological illusion – creates a perceived image due to other visual factors like shape, size, color, texture, etc. that stimulates the eyes and brain.
  • Cognitive illusion – creates a perceived image based on a person’s view of his/her environment.



According to Mark Changizi, a researcher at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, light travels through the eye’s retina as it bounces off an object, one-tenth of a second before the brain receives and fully interprets what is seen. He claims that the human eyes have adjusted on the environmental variations that delay the neurological transmission of messages. This causes people to react in an instant because of an assumed phenomenon even though it has not transpired or it has not been proven to exist.




The nerves in the eyes, with the help of a thin streak of light, immediately send messages to the brain even when the processing of information is not fully complete that usually lead to a false idea.





No wonder optical illusion always plays mind tricks on us. Nevertheless, it still imbibes an uncanny feeling of fascination that continues to keep our imagination at work.




All images are from Aakash Nihalani‘s website.