The Sunburst illusion

  • Hiroyuki Ito Faculty of Design, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan; and Research Center for Applied Perceptual Science, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
  • Lu Ding School of Foreign Languages, Dalian Jiaotong University, Dalian, China
Keywords: Mackay Ray figure, Flickering wheel illusion, smooth pursuit, luminance contrast, brightness illusion


We report a new visual illusion. When a Mackay Ray figure is observed in paracentral vision or near peripheral vision, a fast but smooth pursuit eye movement produces an impression of bursting of a dazzling light in the center of the figure. We call this effect the Sunburst illusion. We have included movies demonstrating the effects of changing the speed and path of smooth eye movement, saccades, luminance contrast, and color combinations.


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How to Cite
Ito H., & Ding L. (2022). The Sunburst illusion. Journal of Illusion, 3.
Phenomenal reports