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Akiyoshi Kitaoka is an artist who appears to specialize in optical illusions:

http://www.ritsumei.ac.jp/~akitaoka/

There's a lot of them on his page, but one in particular bears mentioning—I find it absolutely fascinating. He calls it "the morning sunlight", and it looks like this:

http://www.ritsumei.ac.jp/~akitaoka/asahi.gif

Even at a small size, most people perceive the center of the image—which is exactly the same as the background color—as considerably brighter than the background. If you click through, you can see that it even works at much larger sizes. And now, there's a study that shows that your irises contract when you look at the center of this thing:

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/01/18/1118298109

What a weird and wonderful thing the brain is—and how easily fooled! (And thus, one of the reasons why I will always tend to value data over opinion.)
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