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2011 Best Illusion of the YearOK, sure.  The name’s not really all that catchy, but this is one optical illusion that will leave you scratching your head.

The illusion, which was created by Jordan Suchow, a Harvard University graduate student, and George Alvarez, an assistant professor in Harvard’s psychology department, is called “Silencing awareness of change by background motion”, and it was dubbed the 2011 Best Illusion of the Year on May 9 in Florida.

The event, which is in its seventh year, is an offshoot of the annual Vision Sciences Society meeting, also in Naples, Florida.

Take a look at the video below and focus your eyes on the white dot in the middle of the screen. You’ll notice that the surrounding dots are changing color. Once the dots begin rotating, however, they seem to STOP changing color, but in reality, they’re still changing.

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The spinning motion somehow suppresses the viewer’s ability to detect these changes.

Check it out below, and check out the top three finalists at the official site here.

What did you think?  Did you see it (or not see it, as the case may be)?  Remember, “There is no spoon.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjMVsTFVX10

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