Introducing the Journal of Illusion


Citation: Journal of Illusion 2020, 1: 5591 - https://doi.org/10.47691/joi.v1.5591

Copyright: © 2020 Akiyoshi Kitaoka et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.

Published: 5 October 2020


In general, research in perceptual psychology recognizes illusion as a tool for elucidating the underlying perceptual mechanisms. For this reason, the status of illusory phenomena that are not clearly contributing to the elucidation of perceptual mechanisms is often underestimated. On the other hand, we feel that the phenomenal aspect of illusion itself may have the power to boost research in perceptual psychology. Even without specifying the mechanism right now, illusions are fascinating, surprising, and inspiring to those who see them.

Based on this idea, we planned to launch the Journal of Illusion (JOI). The idea originated in our discussion on Twitter. It took a year for that idea to come to fruition. The Editorial Board members of the journal agreed with our outlandish idea. It remains to be seen how well the idea of focusing on the phenomenal aspects of illusion will be accepted, but we hope that this journal will contribute to the establishment of the science of illusion itself.

Features of JOI

JOI defines an illusion as the perception of an object that is considered to be inconsistent with individual’s or group’s prior knowledge, recognition, or belief as to what the object should be in perception, cognition, and/or physics. Therefore, JOI focuses on perceptual, cognitive (e.g. magic or misunderstanding), or physical illusions (e.g. mirage or the Doppler effect). For perceptual illusions, not only visual illusions but also illusions at various sensory modalities are welcome. Trompe l’oeil and illusion artworks are also welcome. JOI publishes all of the illusion displays/artworks under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license.

As mentioned earlier, JOI prefers phenomena to mechanisms. A single illusion can be demonstrated in different ways even if the mechanism of the illusion is unitary. JOI does not put importance on the clarification of an underlying mechanism for an illusion. Rather, JOI calls for reports of new phenomena and/or new demonstrations/artworks that contain an illusion, which deems novel, stunning, eye-catching, mind-blowing, compelling, and/or astonishing. Experimental studies on new illusions are also welcome. Review articles on new and/or known illusions are acceptable. Yet, theoretical studies that do not lead to new illusions are not welcome.

Rather than a hypothetical research, JOI prefers exploratory research that is usually unacceptable in the conventional style of scientific journals. The reason for our policy is because illusion works are often created based on the fruit of serendipity, not always on logical deductions from previous studies. Hence, a clear hypothesis is not required in the manuscript. On the other hand, studies based on a clear hypothesis can be submitted to the Registered Reports category.

If you discover a really new illusion, do not hesitate to report it in JOI! Explanations of underlying mechanisms are not indispensable; phenomenal novelty is enough!

Akiyoshi Kitaoka, PhD, Editor-in-Chief
Takahiro Kawabe, PhD, Co-Editor
Yuki Yamada, PhD, Co-Editor