20th Annual Dinner and Demo Night

Beach BBQ: Monday, May 20, 2024, 6:00 – 8:00 pm, Beachside Sun Decks, limited seating in Banyan Breezeway
Demos: Monday, May 20, 2024, 7:00 – 10:00 pm, Talk Room 1-2

Please join us Monday evening for the 20th Annual VSS Dinner and Demo Night, a spectacular night of imaginative demos solicited from VSS members. The demos highlight the important role of visual displays in vision research and education.

This year’s Demo Night will be organized and curated by Gideon Caplovitz, University of Nevada, Reno; Anna Kosovicheva, University of Toronto Mississauga; Peter Kohler, York University; and Daw-An Wu, Cal-Tech.

Demos are free to view for all registered VSS attendees and their families and guests. The Beach BBQ is free for attendees, but YOU MUST WEAR YOUR BADGE to receive dinner. Guests and family members must purchase a VSS Friends and Family Pass to attend the Beach BBQ. You can register your guests at any time at the VSS Registration Desk, located in the Grand Palm Colonnade. Guest passes may also be purchased at the BBQ event, beginning at 5:45 pm.

The following demos will be presented from 7:00 to 10:00 pm, in the Island Ballroom, Jacaranda Hall and the Grand Palm Colonnade 2nd floor meeting rooms:

A delightful gallimaufry! Astonishing illusions and strange phenomena, demonstrated with genuine lights and materials according to the latest scientific principles

Richard Murray, Alban Flachot, Khushbu Patel, Jaykishan Patel, York University

Lightness research is often based on computer-generated images, but many phenomena are most striking when created with real lights and surfaces. Here we show several vivid lightness illusions related to shadows and shading, constructed using materials ranging from LEGO and painted blocks to computer-controlled surfaces and lighting.

Anisotropy in Perceived Non-rigidity: Roles of Shape and Motion

Akihito Maruya, Qasim Zaidi, SUNY, College of Optometry

Two 3D rings, linked and rotated together horizontally, can appear to move together or independently. Surprisingly, turning the image by 90° to make the rotation vertical increases perceived nonrigidity. We demonstrate that perceived shape changes and anisotropies in the population of direction-selective neurons lead to greater nonrigidity for vertical rotation.

A world without color: monochromatic light room

Helen Feibes1, Rosa Lafer-Sousa2

1: National Eye Institute

2: National Institute of Mental Health

We provide an immersive experience of the world without color using monochromatic sodium light (589 nm). The demo highlights the myriad benefits color provides in natural vision. It also showcases a surprising finding, that faces, and only faces, provoke a paradoxical memory color, appearing greenish.

Beuchet Chair

Peter Thompson, Tim Andrews, University of York, UK

A favorite at Demo Night for many years, the Beuchet Chair will be returning to VSS after a 5-year intergalactic tour. The two parts of the chair are at different distances and the visual system fails to apply size constancy appropriately. The result is people can be shrunk or made giants.

Color assimilation with faces

Karl Gegenfurtner, Doris Braun, Giessen University

Color assimilation was first described by Wilhelm von Bezold 150 years ago. With time, these illusions became more and more dramatic, as in the Munker illusion, the Monnier-Shevell illusion or most recently the Confetti illusion by David Novick. We find that these illusions work particularly well with human faces. We’ll take your picture and assimilate it to all colors of the rainbow. You can take your picture home with you!

Eye Duel: Balloon Burst Showdown

Kurt Debono, Marcus Johnson, SR Research Ltd

Take on a collaborative eye movement challenge. Experience synchronised tracking of both you and your opponent’s gaze. Inflate your balloon by looking at it and burst it to win. Deflate your opponent’s balloon with your gaze to slow them down.

Fluid visions: when eyes paint reality

Krischan Koerfer1, Tamara Watson2, Markus Lappe1

1: University of Münster

2: Western Sydney University

Discover a series of non-rigid motion stimuli that can be perceived and pursued with ease. However, these stimuli undergo changes in appearance once the eyes pursue them. Experience how the normally compensated self-generated retinal motion is integrated into your perception during pursuit, altering the way you see the stimuli.

How do I see myself if I develop dementia?

Tahereh Toosi, Columbia University

Inspired by the powerful self-portraits of artist William Utermohlen during his years of struggle with Alzheimer’s and leveraging a large-scale model for object recognition, I show aberrations in the integration of perpetual priors create haunting perceptual abnormalities when processing an image of my face.

Illumination Revelations

Katja Dörschner1, Sylvia C. Pont2

1: Justus-Liebig-University

2: Perceptual Intelligence Lab, TU Delft

Visual illusions, that work via structures of color contrasts and color gradients, are designed to be viewed on a screen or as prints on white paper under white lighting. Varying the lighting spectra will vary the color ingredients for these illusions and induce striking dynamics and revelations.

Immersive and long lasting afterimages – experiences of altered self

Daw-An Wu, California Institute of Technology

Dark Adaptation + Bright Flashes = Rod Afterimages!

Is Familiar Size an example of seeing or thinking? See for yourself.

Albert Yonas1,2 Amoolya Chengalasetty2,  Jhera Darefsky2

1: University of Minnesota (Emeritus)

2: Arizona State University Amoolya Chengalasetty and Jhera Darefsky

Studies of the depth cue termed familiar size have used objects such as coins and baseballs. We will present novel objects to show that this depth illusion can be acquired in seconds. It can take minutes for the effect to wear off and is strong enough to generate illusory motion parallax in many observers.

Magic Metamers and Saccadic Suppression, Hidden in Plain Sight

Peter April, Jean-Francois Hamelin, Dr. Lindsey Fraser, Dr. Jonathan Tong, VPixx Technologies

Can visual information be hidden in plain sight?  For the first time, we use the multispectral PROPixx projector to display a secret message hidden in a uniform field using chromatic metamers.  Look through a filter to reveal the hidden message!  Back by popular demand, the PROPixx 1440Hz projector demonstrates visual processing during saccades. We present a word which is only visible during eye movements. The player with the fastest word sighting wins a drink ticket!

Magnetic Sand (or Interactivity) Illusions

Shinsuke Shimojo1, Kensuke Shimojo2, Eiko Shimojo1, Daw-An Wu1

1: CalTech

2: UC San Diego

On top of a dynamic white noise display, move one’s finger/hand. When draw a letter slowly, it leaves a trace but fading. When pretend to grab (away) or release (close) the dots seems attracted in or repulsive out. All in these illusions, the display appears as though it is interactive with action.

Out of your body and into a rabbit, or a crab. Virtual reality displays from a different point of view

Anwesha Das, Daw-An Wu, Caltech

Using virtual reality goggles to see through a pair of cameras, you can find yourself seeing from an odd point of view, depending on how the cameras are placed.  You might have an out-of-body experience, widen your field of view, or see more around the sides of an object.

Perceived Stereo Depth reflects Retinal Disparities, not 3D Geometry

Paul Linton, Nikolaus Kriegeskorte, Columbia University

We present a new illusion (‘Linton Stereo Illusion’) that challenges our understanding of stereo vision. Two circles are separated in depth. When we move them forwards and backwards together (with fixed angular size) there is no ‘depth constancy’. Their perceived separation is simply a function of the disparity between them.

Perceptual Tachyons

Christopher Tyler, Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute

A radial ray pattern induces dynamic noise in an embedded uniform ring that seems to counter-rotate with slow rotation of the ray pattern, but when the rotation stops, the induced noise rotates rapidly in the SAME rotation direction – a perceptual analog of the tachyons of Relativity Theory.

Reversed depth illusion in anti-correlated random dot stereograms

Li Zhaoping, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, University of Tuebingen

The reversed depth illusion by random dot stereograms (RDSs) is seeing a reversed depth order between two depth surfaces of random black and white dots, when one of the surfaces is depicted by anti-correlated random dots, i.e., when each black dot in one eye corresponds to a white dot in the other eye. This illusion can be seen in peripheral vision but not central vision. I will use stereograms and their viewing devices to let people experience this.

Staircase Gelb Illusion

Alan Gilchrist, Rutgers University Newark

A square matte black paper suspended in midair within a spotlight appears white. Each of four successively lighter grays, when added (within spotlight), appears white, making all existing papers appear darker. Once the entire black/white range is present, the range appears dramatically compressed. Adding a white border eliminates the compression.


Back by popular demand: Strobe lights and Ping Pong!

Stroboscopic Hallucinations

Nathan H. Heller, Dartmouth College

Strobe-induced hallucinations were first investigated by Jan Purkinje over 200 years ago. When he closed his eyes, turned toward the sun, and rapidly waved his fingers in front of his face, the flickering light produced a kaleidoscopic display of dynamically changing geometric patterns. Come experience these for yourself!

Structured light enhanced entoptic stimuli: Beyond Haidinger’s Brush

David Last, Iman Salehi, School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of Waterloo

Delve into our prototype, a clinical tool that merges optics with visual health, leveraging polarized light to probe the visual system’s intricacies. This demonstration, rooted in the physics of light, unveils structured light’s potential in diagnostic applications, offering a window into the sophisticated dynamics of light interaction and visual perception.

The Art of Memory Exhibit

Trent Davis, Wilma Bainbridge, University of Chicago

Come see the most memorable and forgettable artworks from the Brain Bridge Lab’s Art Contest at the Art of Memory pop-up exhibit! Try to guess what makes these artworks memorable or forgettable, and test your memory for a chance to win prizes!

The Body Tilt Illusion

Sophia Baia, Michael McBeath, Matthew Langley, Erika Langley, Kuo-Wei Chen, Gi-Yeul Bae, Arizona State University

Come experience the body tilt illusion!  Visitors will be slowly tilted backwards from different physical positions (seated or standing) with eyes open or closed. The task is to judge when you feel like you are tilted at a 45 degree angle, and to experience how judgments are affected by vision.

The Dichopter: a new handheld smartphone stereo viewer

Kenneth Brecher, Boston University

The Dichopter is a new smartphone viewing device that allows the viewer to study SBS pairs of images displayed simultaneously. This can be combined with software to allow the user to create their own 3D image pairs, random dot stereograms and as well as binocular rivalry displays.

The Dueling Orbits Illusion

Ryan Mruczek1, Gideon Caplovitz2

1: The College of Holy Cross

2: University of Nevada Reno

The Dueling Orbits Illusion: a target moves in a circular orbit around a central point, but the perceived trajectory of the target is drastically altered (in both extent and direction) by a set of surrounding inducers moving in a similar but offset trajectory.  The perceived trajectory of the target depends on the relative motion between the target and inducers and on eye position, and may be modulated by attention.

The Sound-Induced Flash Illusion (SIFI) – Seeing is not always believing

Jonathon Toft-Nielsen1, Özcan Özdamar2

1: Intelligent Hearing Systems / JÖRVEC Corp

2: University of Miami

Participants will don headphones and fixate to a spot on a monitor.  They will be instructed to count the number flashes on the screen.  Each flash will be accompanied by an auditory stimulus.  Afterwards we’ll compare their count with the actual count, and the result will likely surprise them!

The UW Virtual Brain ProjectTM

Melissa Schoenlein1,2 Ross Treddinick2, Nathaniel Miller3, Chris Racey4, Simon Smith2, Kudirat Alimi2, Yash Sancheti2,  Chris Castro5, Bas Rokers6, & Karen B. Schloss1

1: Department of Psychology:

2: Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, University of Wisconsin-Madison

3: University of Minnesota Medical School

4: Psychology, University of Sussex

5: College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison

6: Department of Psychology, New York University, Abu Dhabi

Take a tour through the sensory systems of the human brain in the UW Virtual Brain ProjectTM. The VR lessons provide immersive experiences of information flow from sensory input to cortical processing. Evidence suggests these experiences are fun and easy to use, which can advance neuroscience education.

Tracking one thing moving around a perimeter can be very hard or very easy

Qihan Wu, Jonathan Flombaum, Johns Hopkins University

Track a dot as it moves around the perimeter of a shape. You will be surprised by how difficult this is in some cases where it seems that it should be easy.

Vision’s Chainsaw

Patrick Cavanagh1, Stuart Anstis2

1: Glendon College

2: UC San Diego

Moving frames can displace the apparent location of brief flashes presented at the moment the frame changes direction. We use this here to attempt a novel dismemberment of the human body. This is a live, so to speak, presentation and we invite observers to step up and be severed. Sorry, served.

Welcome to eXtended Reality

Minjung Kim, Immo Schütz, Saeideh Ghahghaei Nezamabadi, Scott Murdison, Takahiro Doi Trisha Lian, Xiuyun Wu, Meta Platforms

Check out how you can interact with the world with extended reality! In this demo, we showcase some of our latest products, including VR headsets and smart glasses, which bring us a step closer to blending the real world with the digital world.