The image published by neuroscientist Alice Proverbio, on the platform of microblogging Twitter, is provoking several reactions on the internet and has already been seen by thousands of people.
The image that is a JPG, not a GIF, was designed by Beau Deeby and aims to test the collapse of the human perception system: the drawing, although static, conveys the idea of movement and the brain takes the image as being a video.
"Incredible illusion of movement. V5 is triggered by V4 saturation," describes Alice Proverb.
The neuroscientist explains the phenomenon as follows: "V5 (or MT) is an area of the cortex of the brain that processes motion, while V4 is responsible for color and shape." "V4 neurons saturate in such a way that the speed at which MT neurons travel is interpreted as a sensory signal," he adds.
Alice Proverb also says that the image can be seen as "an example of competition within the visual cortex, that is, whenever a signal is attenuated or suppressed for any reason, other elements can be interpreted at higher cognitive levels."