在2022年5月30日发表在《Frontiers in Human Neuroscience》上的这项新研究中，Laeng及其同事表明，“扩大的洞”错觉非常善于欺骗我们的大脑，它甚至还会促使瞳孔扩张反射，从而让更多的光线进入。
Look at the picture above. Do you feel that the central black hole is expanding, as if you are entering a dark environment or falling into a hole? If so, you are by no means the only one: a new study shows that about 86% of people have the illusion of an "enlarged hole", which is new in science.
Bruno Laeng, lead author of the study, pointed out: "the 'enlarged hole' is a highly dynamic illusion: the circular smear or shadow gradient of the central black hole evokes a clear impression of optical flow, as if the observer is moving towards a hole or tunnel."
Optical illusions are not just gimmicks with no scientific interest: researchers in social psychology study them to better understand the complex processes that our visual systems use to predict and understand the visual world-far more circuitous than photometer devices. the latter simply records the amount of photon energy.
In the new study, published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience on May 30, 2022, Laeng and colleagues show that the "enlarged hole" illusion is so good at deceiving our brains that it even causes the pupil to dilate and reflex, allowing more light to enter.
Pupillary reflex depends on perception, not necessarily on reality.
"here, based on the new 'enlarged hole' illusion, the pupil responds to how we perceive light-even if the 'light' is imagined as in the illusion-not just to the amount of light actually entering the eye," Laeng said. "the illusion of dilated holes causes the pupils to dilate accordingly, just as if darkness does increase."
Laeng and colleagues explored how the color of the hole (except black: blue, cyan, green, magenta, red, yellow or white) and the surrounding dots affect our strong mental and physical responses to hallucinations. On one screen, they showed changes in the "enlarged hole" image to 50 women and men with normal vision, and then asked them to subjectively evaluate their perception of the illusion. When the participants stared at the image, the researchers measured their eye movements and the unconscious contraction and dilation of their pupils. As a contrast, the researchers showed subjects a "disturbed" version of the enlarged hole image with the same brightness and color but no pattern.
This illusion is most effective when the hole is black. When the hole was black, 14% of the participants did not feel any illusory expansion, while if the hole was colored, 20% of the participants did not. There is a significant difference in the subjective intensity of hallucinations among those who do feel expansion.
The researchers also found that black holes promoted strong reflex dilation of participants' pupils, while colored holes caused their pupils to contract. For black holes rather than colored holes, the stronger the subjective evaluation of hallucinations by individual participants, the more likely their pupil diameters were to change.
A few people are not easily affected.
Researchers do not know why a small number of people seem to be insensitive to the illusion of "enlarged holes". They also don't know whether other vertebrate species or even invertebrates with camera eyes, such as octopus, perceive the same hallucinations as we do.
Laeng concluded: "our results show that pupil dilation or contraction reflex is not a closed-loop mechanism, just like a photocell that opens the door, which is not affected by any information other than the actual amount of light that stimulates the photoreceptor. Instead, the eye adjusts to perceived or even imagined light, not just according to physical energy. Future studies may find other types of physiological or physical changes that can be 'projected' to how hallucinations work. "