The Scintillating Starburst
The "Scintillating Starburst" is a visual illusion created by Recursia's principal artist, Michael Karlovich. It is the basis for Recursia's logo. Scintillating Starbursts were scientifically investigated through a collaboration between Recursia and Pascal Wallisch Ph.D. of the New York University Center For Neural Science. Click here to read the peer-reviewed article detailing this illusion. In the article, they introduce and explore Scintillating Starbursts, a stimulus type made up of scaled pairs of concentric star polygons that induce illusory scintillating rays or beams to emanate from the central "wreath" of the design through the gaps connecting the radially aligned diamonds of each wreath. Click here for a blog post Michael and Pascal wrote on the illusion -- in the blog post they address points not found in their technical article and further elaborate on what makes scintillating starbursts unique from other superficially similar illusions like phantom bands and the pin-cushion grid. See below for examples of Scintillating Starbursts.
The Scintillating Starburst was a finalist in the 2020 illusion of the year contest -- CLICK HERE TO RATE THE ILLUSION
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Below are various examples of scintillating Starbursts with ray effects of varying intensity. When it comes to ray strength, not all Scintillating Starbursts are created equal. Everything has to be just right for the illusion to arise. Most of these starburst design found below were not used in our study. In this blog post it is explained why in detail. In short, there would of been too many designs to show our research participants. Check back soon for a library of optimized Scintillating Starburst Stimuli.