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#8. Test your Brain with these 10 Visual Illusions

The brain has two hemi­spheres, each divid­ed into four lobes. Each lobe is respon­si­ble for dif­fer­ent func­tions. For instance the frontal cor­tex (in blue below) is respon­si­ble for deci­sion mak­ing and plan­ning; the tem­po­ral lobe (in green) for lan­guage and mem­o­ry; and the pari­etal lobe (in yel­low) for spa­tial skills. The occip­i­tal lobe (in red) is entire­ly devot­ed to vision: It is thus the place where visu­al illu­sions hap­pen.

top 10 visual illusions

The frontal lobe rep­re­sents around 41% of total cere­bral cor­tex vol­ume; the tem­po­ral lobe 22%; the pari­etal lobe 19%; and the occip­i­tal lobe 18%. How the visu­al sys­tem process­es shapes, col­ors, sizes, etc. has been researched for decades. One way to under­stand more about this sys­tem is to look at how we can trick it, that is, to look at how the brain reacts to visu­al illu­sions.


10 visu­al illu­sions to com­bine fun and learn­ing about the visu­al sys­tem (You’ll find answers and expla­na­tions at the end of the arti­cle)

We know you know there is a trick since these are illu­sions… but don’t try to be smarter than your brain: Just enjoyed being tricked!

1. Are the squares inside the blue and yel­low squares all the same col­or?

square color illusion test


2. Are the hor­i­zon­tal lines straight or crooked?

café wall optical illusion


3. Are the cir­cles sta­t­ic or mov­ing?

circle motion illusion test


4. How many legs does this ele­phant have?

elephant visual illusion test


5. Can you put the fish in the fish­bowl?

Stare at the yel­low stripe in the mid­dle of the fish in the pic­ture below for about 10–20 sec. Then move your gaze to the fish bowl.

fish bowl illusions test


Keep read­ing to try the next 5 illu­sions

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7 Responses

  1. Steven says:

    Most of these are old, but some I haven’t seen before. I absolute­ly love opti­cal illu­sions.

  2. T.L. says:

    Awe­some! I like being tricked even when I know its hap­pen­ing. Too cool.

  3. Geroboam says:

    Old sal­sa.

  4. Lenny says:

    These are pret­ty neat!!! I am always so fas­ci­nat­ed by opti­cal illu­sions!!

  5. T. H. says:


  6. Pascale says:

    Hi T.H., There is noth­ing spe­cial to be seen in Escher’s draw­ing. It is a great exam­ple of an impos­si­ble object, just for your eyes’ plea­sure!

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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