You’re observing a captivating optical illusion known as the Sunburst Peripheral Drift Illusion, innovatively designed by CMG Lee. This illusion, recognized by its vibrant, sunburst-like pattern, is a remarkable instance of how our visual perception can be deceived into sensing motion where none actually exists.

At first glance, the sunburst pattern may seem stationary. However, once you shift your gaze slightly to the side, the previously static pattern begins to exhibit a pulsating or rotating motion, as if the sunburst is throbbing or spinning. Interestingly, this perceived motion becomes more prominent when you blink rapidly while maintaining your off-center gaze.

One of the intriguing characteristics of the Sunburst Peripheral Drift Illusion is its directionality. The illusion of motion is consistently perceived in a dark-to-light direction, irrespective of the actual colors in the pattern. This aspect suggests a fundamental principle of our visual system – that it tends to interpret transitions from dark to light as movement.

The illusion becomes particularly apparent when you engage in another activity like reading, with the sunburst pattern positioned in your peripheral vision. This suggests that our peripheral vision, which is more sensitive to detecting motion, plays a significant role in creating this illusion.

Overall, the Sunburst Peripheral Drift Illusion demonstrates the fascinating complexities of our visual perception. While our eyes are our windows to the world, our brain is the interpreter, and sometimes, it interprets the visual information in a way that doesn’t match the reality—creating an illusion. In the case of the Sunburst, our brain creates a mesmerizing sense of motion in a still image, reminding us that seeing is not always believing.

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