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Simultaneous Contrast

Identical colors appear to shift when framed by different backgrounds or patterns. This is called "simultaneous contrast" and has a variety of affects on how we see things.

Instructions: The diagrams below feature two sets of identical red and green squares within a striping pattern. Do the colors on each side of the stripes appear different? In each case, the squares on the left side appear darker and the right side appears lighter. View the images from the side of your monitor to exaggerate this effect.


Are the red squares the same?



Are the green squares the same?

Back to Optical Illusions

Other Illusions:
Blind Spots
Blink Effect
Chromatic Adaptation
Chromatic Adaptation
Color Blindness
Dither Dots
Fill Patterns
Opponent After-images
Optical Art
Shape Contrast
Simultaneous Contrast
Simultaneous Contrast
Value Contrast

Other fun stuff:
Free 3D Screensavers
Color Playground
Dimensions of Color
3D Color Puzzle

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