Image_ (154)

New research suggests that staring at this optical illusion could improve your eye sight.

The study found that a visual illusion may enhance people’s ability to read small print due to “expanding motion aftereffect”.

After watching the illusion, viewers can read letters that would normally be too small for them to see normally.

Try the quick test in the video below.

The research conducted by psychologists at the Universities of York and Glasgow found that how people see is not only impacted by the shape and condition of the eyes, but also perceptual processes in the brain.

The test uses the logMAR eye chart which is used by optometrists to test patient’s eyes.

After viewing the optical illusion, most people can read one liner lower on the logMAR test than they could before.

 Co-author, Dr Rob Jenkins from the University of York's Department of Psychology told MailOnline, “If you have exactly the same image coming in and exactly the same eye looking at it, it shows there are things you can do to the brain to get a little more out of the same signal.”

“The poorer their vision was to start with the more they benefited from the illusion,” he said. 

“If your vision is really excellent there is not really much that can be done to improve it beyond that.”

“It was better for around about half a minute so we're not suggesting it as a replacement to glasses,” he added. 

In the study, researchers showed 74 people a spiral pattern that rotated either clockwise or counter clockwise for thirty seconds. 

Participants who viewed a spiral that turned clockwise found that the smaller letters seemed to expand.

Participants who viewed a spiral turning anti-clockwise found that the letters seem to contract and required a larger print than what they did before.

A third experiment, saw participants view both types of spirals and the results were the same.

“We were pretty impressed by the consistency of the effect. No matter how you break it down – by letter size, by letter position – the performance boost is there,” Dr Jenkins said.

“And there was a correlation with initial ability: The harder people found the small print, the more the illusion helped them.”

“I don't think of it as being a form of treatment but it does tell us how vision is organised in the brain,” he said.  

Did the optical illusion work for you? Let us know in the comments below. 

Comments