Silencing is an optical illusion that shows motion (of objects or the eyes) makes it harder to notice changes in appearance. What once appeared dynamic appear static. Silencing affects changes in color, brightness, size, and shape.

Play the movie while looking at the small white speck in the center of the ring. At first, the ring is motionless and it’s easy to tell that the dots are changing color. When the ring begins to rotate, the dots suddenly appear to stop changing. But in reality they are changing the entire time.

Motion silences awareness of color changes from Jordan Suchow on Vimeo.

Motion silences awareness of brightness changes from Jordan Suchow on Vimeo.

Motion silences awareness of size changes from Jordan Suchow on Vimeo.

Motion silences awareness of shape changes from Jordan Suchow on Vimeo.

These demos were created by Jordan Suchow (suchow@fas.harvard.edu) and George Alvarez, and first appeared in a paper in Current Biology.

Find resources on color theory and color psychology here.
Learn more in my digital printing and digital photography workshops here.

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