When Titchener discovered this magnificent illusion, he was taken aback at the tricks an illusion could play on the human mind. When word of this illusion spread around in the circles of scientists, they immediately saw it as an opportunity to delve deeper into the human mind to study the pathways of the brain, action and perception. Moreover, the discovery divided the scientific community as the debate regarding the brain having two separate pathways raged on.
The Scientific Storm Surrounding the Ebbinghaus Illusion
When the illusion first came into being, scientists were in awe of the way the illusion managed to manipulate the brain. In order to understand how the illusion worked, they dedicated their time and effort into studying the workings of the illusion. This is when two separate point of views emerged, some scientists believed that the Ebbinghaus Illusion proved that the brain, indeed, had two separate pathways, one for perception and the other for action.
However, other scientists debated against that theory, refusing to acknowledge that the brain contained two individual pathways. Due to the difference in opinion, the theory to this day remains just a theory, yet to be proven. Putting the debate aside, the Ebbinghaus Illusion plays a vital role in the research of cognitive psychology. What was so special about the illusion that shook the world of scientists? The illusion was unlike any other they had seen before, it was truly unique, mystifying in how it manipulated the mind.
In order to get a better understanding of how this illusion works, refer to the Crop Circles Optical Illusion. There are two circles, surrounding the circles are six circles. According to you, which circle located in the middle is the largest, the first one or the second one? Your mind says the middle circle in the second cluster is the largest. The right answer is—you've been tricked. The circle in the middle of both clusters is the same size. Are you intrigued? That’s exactly how the scientists felt when they came across this gem.
Factors that influence the brain to think otherwise are the distance between the middle circle and the surrounding circles and the size of the surrounding circles. As a result, when the circles surrounding the middle circle are increased in size, the middle circle will change appearance, looking smaller than its twin in the other cluster.
Think about what you have just seen and try to figure out why your brain isn’t being able to perceive the picture as it is. It’s remarkable that the smartest aspect of a human body, the brain, can be so gullible at times, being fooled by an illusion known as the Ebbinghaus Illusion.