These pictures are black and white but fascinatingly, our brains colour them in

The internet is fascinated with how we each see things – be that the dress or the shoes.

Optical illusions, particularly, are trippy and therefore instantly viral-worthy – we want to know how others perceive them.

The latest illusion to blow our minds comes in the form of black and white images. Only, they’re not black and white to most of us.

In a series of images shared by economist Lionel Page, coloured lines, grids, and dots were placed on top of colourless pictures.

What ends up happening to the original images is that our brain colours them in, as a result of the hues of each line.

So cool.

He revealed the images on Twitter, saying: ‘This is a black and white photograph. Only the lines have colour. What you “see” is what your brain predicts the reality to be, given the imperfect information it gets.’

And it’s not just lined grids that create the effect, coloured dots on greyscale pictures elicit the same reaction from our brains.

Over on his Patreon page where Lionel asks supporters to pay for the codes he creates, he added some extra explanation.

He wrote: ‘The image for the post is a visual/artistic experiment playing with simultaneous contrast. An over-saturated coloured grid overlayed on a  grayscale image causes the grayscale cells to be perceived as having colour.’

In less sciency terms, our brains don’t know what to do with ‘imperfect information’ i.e the contrast of bright coloured lines against non-coloured images.

As a result, it fills in the gaps.

It’s similar to why we saw the infamous dress in different colours.

Our brains decide what colour something is by taking in all the light from that object and ‘throwing away’ the light from surrounding objects.

So, you see the colour of the dress in relation to the colours of the objects surrounding it. In the that photo, the surrounding colours are so jumbled that our brains can’t actually determine what colour the dress is.

Those who see the surrounding colours as dark are more likely to see the blue in the dress as white, and the black lace as gold.

But not everyone online is convinced with the black and white pics. Some believe the images are already coloured and we’re being trolled.

Others said, for them, the images remained black and white.  We’re not sure why that is but regardless, we’re blown away by it.

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