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Checker shadow illusion in the real world

Illusions © Akiyoshi KITAOKA, Professor, Department of Psychology, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan - used with permission

Text © Sencillo Press and Gruff Davies 2010

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Professor Kitaoka spotted this wonderful real-world example of the checker shadow illusion.  Tile B appears lighter in shade than tile A, yet when the tiles are take out of context (pic 3) we see that in fact A is lighter! Our vision system compensates for shadows, and interprets the colours as they would be without shadows because this is more useful to us.

checkershadow real floor

pic 1 - original

pic 2 - labelled

pic 3 - context removed