Optical Illusions – A Battle Between The Eyes and The Brain

You were most likely introduced to your first optical illusion as a child, immediately mystified by the magic appearing before you. Fast forward to today and for some reason, we’re still captivated by these seemingly simple pictures and videos that play games with our eyes.

Optical illusions are visual (pun intended) proof that we don’t always see what we think we do. Rather, we see images based on the way our brain and our vision perceive and interpret the image.  

Michael Bach, a vision scientist and professor of neurobiophysics at the University of Freiburg Eye, explains optical illusions as, “a mismatch between the immediate visual impression and the actual properties of the object. Everything that enters the senses needs to be interpreted through the brain -- and these interpretations occasionally go wrong.”

At the very back of the eye is found a curved and light-sensing layer called the retina. The retina senses light rays and acts as a messenger to the brain. The brain, in turn, translates the information it receives into images.


Now that you have a basic understanding of the trickery behind optical illusions, enjoy a few of our favorite images that completely throw our eyes for a loop!


The Warped Chair


Rotating Snakes

Based upon the work of A. Kitaoka


Waving Beans

Based upon the work of A. Kitaoka


Two Faced



The spirals that appear to be blue and green are actually the same color

Discover Magazine


Animated Optical Illusions

Latest Press Releases

View all Press Releases »

By clicking “Ok” you acknowledge that you are leaving EssilorUSA.com. If you wish to stay on EssilorUSA.com, click “Cancel.”

Ok Cancel