Get Tricked by These Prize-Winning Illusions

A Turn in the Road, third prize winner in the Best Illusion of the Year contest.

Which road looks different? You won't believe your eyes.

"A Turn in the Road," an illusion created by visual researchers at Rice University in Texas, took home third prize at the Best Illusions of the Year awards Sunday in Naples, Florida.

"Viewers see one image as odd, but it's one of the two identical images they see as different,'" said Kimberley Orsten, a doctoral student who co-created the illusion with psychology professor James Pomerantz.

The illusion takes advantage of the way the brain can misinterpret information from the eye about color, light and pattern. It mixes two images called "metamers," which are identical but look different, with two images called "anti-metamers," which are different but look the same, according to Orsten.

It's "an illusion we call 'false pop out,'" she said.

"A Turn in the Road" won third place in the Best Illusions of the Year contest. (Image courtesy Kimberley D. Orsten and James R. Pomerant, Rice University)

Check out the rest of this year's winning illusions here.

Related: Optical Illusions Show How We See

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