Adelson’s Checker Shadow Illusion
was made to show how human visual system complex and how it deals with shadows.
To illustrate that, he created a checkerboard where he put ‘A’ and ‘B’ letters
in different squares. One of them took part in the white border, the other was
in the grey border. There was also cylinder and lightings to reveal the power of
sharp edges, tendency to ignore gradual changes in light level (in this
illusion, cylinder’s shadow constitutes soft edges and thanks to that case
gradual change occurs.), and importance of local contrast on visual perception.
Furthermore, experiment indicated that some colors such as grey, green and
yellow are more troublesome for the visual system to evaluate implicitly (New
World Encyclopedia, 2015).

We made an optical visual illusion by the pattern from
Edward Adelson Professor of Vision Science at MIT in 1995. He
exposure Checker Shadow Illusion in 1995. We tried twice. In this illusion,
although the colors of the circles in the shadow and the open ones are seen
different, the colors are indeed the same. There are two squares which refer to
A and B. The A square is seen to be a darker color than B. In fact, the context
of the two-dimensional images are identical brightness. There are several
perceptual constancies and its impacts on the illusion. These are visual
perception principles that allow us to perceive of stimuli. The
constancies are shape, size ,and brightness. When we look at objects, even they
change in shape, size, and brightness we still see them as stable and familiar
that we know information about objects. The brightness of area which
surrounding the unknown object or color that perceived when its color change
and contrast change can consist of illusion.

The majority of people who have looked to this
checkerboard, they saw same color circles. Brain system has a complicated
visual system as a consequence of many external stimuli.”

ADELSON’S CHECKER SHADOW ILLUSION                                                                    7

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Visual illusions enchant people because they show how
our visual system can be “tricked” into seeing incorrectly” (Bach &
Poloschek, 2006). There are too many types of illusion. One of them is the optical
visual illusion. The Adelson’s Checker Shadow Illusion (same color illusion) is
a part of the optical illusion and it is very useful in visual perception field
and cinema. Besides, there are lots of visual optical illusion such as the
Hermann grid illusion, the Scintillating Grids: Straight, Curved and Rubik’s
Cube Color Illusion, Todorovic’s Gradient Chessboard Illusion, and White’s
Illusion.

          It is surprising to learn
that the eye cannot see, it just perceives information which is passed to the
brain where the processes of classification, comparison, and determination are
initiated.

Ewald Hering said (1834-1918) “The
explanatory power of localized retinal processes impacting the neurons, retinal
ganglion cells, that send signals from the eye to the brain. Moreover, two
kinds of retinal ganglion cells present which are ON-center cell is excited by
a central bright spot in its area but is inhibited by a bright surround: an
OFF-center cell has the opposite arrangement” (Hering, E.,1834-1918). Alan
Gilchrist emphasized that in 1979, “These retinal and early cortical processes supply
an underlying mechanism for lightness constancy, our visual system is less
sensitive to gradual changes in light glare than it is so immediate local contrasts,
and uniform areas are ‘filled in'” (Gilchrist, A.L., 1979). However, this
argument is not completely explaining to Adelson’s Checker Shadow Illusion.
Another explanation can be that, the human visual system benefits from
environmental clues before the make interpretation. In our replication, black
cardboard which covered particular squares on the checkerboard leads to lack of
information which comes from the surface.

 

 

 

 

ADELSON’S
CHECKER SHADOW ILLUSION                                                                    8

 

If our visual system not able to see surface clearly,
such as grey or white squares next to ‘A’ and ‘B’, make misinterpretation about
the actual color of those two squares. Therefore, people perceive them as the
same color.

 In spite of the fact that, there are several examples of optical visual
illusions, there is not enough information that explains illusions. Making
researches such as reading articles is a better way in order to find out more
information about illusion.

                                             

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