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Can You Pass This Simple Perception Test?

Spoiler alert: Your brain is playing tricks on you.

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  1. 1. Which square is a darker shade of grey?

    Edward H. Adelson / Adrian Pingstone / CC / commons.wikimedia.org
    A
    B
    They're both the same shade
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    They're the same!

    If you still can't see it, hold your hands over the rest of the picture so you can see just those two squares. They look different because your brain compensates for the shadow, and because square B is surrounded by darker squares.

    They're the same!
  2. 2. Which tower is leaning more to the right?

    Georges Jansoone / CC / en.wikipedia.org
    Left hand tower
    Right hand tower
    They're leaning the same amount
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    It's exactly the same picture, so they're leaning the same amount.

    But when you put them side by side, your visual system processes them as part of the same scene and leads to you believe the righthand picture must be leaning more. This illusion was described in 2007 by Frederick Kingdom, Ali Yoonessi, and Elena Gheorghiu at McGill University.

  3. 3. Which orange circle is larger?

    Left
    Right
    They're the same
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    They're the same.

    Getting the hang of it yet? The two central orange circles are exactly the same size, but the relative size (and possibly the distance) of the outer blue circles makes the orange circle on the right appear larger.

  4. 4. Which black dot is bigger?

    Famousdog / CC / en.wikipedia.org
    Left
    Right
    They're the same
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    They're the same.

    It's very similar to the effect you saw in the above illusion.

  5. 5. Which arrow line (not including the arrowheads or tails) is longest?

    Top
    Middle
    Bottom
    They're all the same
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    They're all the same.

    Who would have guessed it?! The arrow lines are all the same length, but the heads and tails make you see them as different lengths. You can see from the image to the left that they are in fact all the same length.

    They're all the same.
  6. 6. Which grey bar is darker?

    Lockal / en.wikipedia.org
    Left
    Right
    They're both the same shade
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    They're the same.

    There's no definitive explanation for why this illusion happens, but a paper published in 2007 offers a possible solution, if you want to go in depth. Go here and use the interactive tool to try a similar illusion.

  7. 7. This one's a bit trickier. Which way are the outer dots spinning?

    Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
    moillusions.com
    Clockwise
    Anticlockwise
    They're spinning in different directions.
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    They're all spinning anticlockwise.

    But if you focus somewhere above the image, you'll perceive them as going clockwise. To see their true direction – anticlockwise – focus on either the central red or yellow dots. But be warned, the other circle will then look like it's going clockwise.

Can You Pass This Simple Perception Test?

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