Kokichi Sugihara

Graduate School of Advanced Mathematical Sciences, Meiji University
Tokyo, Japan
Kokichi Sugihara is a professor of mathematical engineering at Meiji University. One of his main research areas is computational approaches to visual illusion. He created many solids that realize pictures of impossible objects, and also created a new type visual illusion called “impossible motion”, in which we perceive physical motion that looks impossible. He won the first prize of the Best illusion of the Year Contest twice. One is in 2010 by his illusion artwork “Impossible Motion: Magnet-Like Slopes,” and the other is in 2013 by another illusion artwork “Rotation Generated by Translation” (created with two coauthors). He is the leader of the research project “Computational Illusion” sponsored by Japan Science and Technology Agency.
Impossible Motion
Design: Kokichi Sugihara, Music: Yoko Sugihara, Production: Image Science, Inc.
An “impossible motion” is a new type of optical illusion, in which a given three-dimensional object seems to have an ordinary shape, but motion added to the object gives us an impression that something impossible is happening; for example, a ball rolls uphill defying the gravity law, and a bar passes through windows in an inconsistent orientation. What is actually happening is that the motion is physically natural while the perceived object shape is different from an actual shape. This class of illusion solids can be designed with the aid of shape-from-image equations. This illusion is strong in the sense that we cannot avoid the illusion even after we understand the true shape of the object.