The Kyoto psychology professor is making people all over the world doubt their eyes.

Truth be told I’m not a strawberry fan. In general, I prefer fruits that are juicer and not so tart, and while I wouldn’t say I hate strawberries, if you offered me one, I’d probably pass (unless it was covered with green tea chocolate).

That said, I at least know what strawberries are, and what they look like. They’re red, right?

Well, sometimes.

Akiyoshi Kitaoka is a professor of experimental psychology at Kyoto’s Ritsumeikan University. A specialist in visual perception, Kitaoka doesn’t just provide instruction for his students, he also creates mind-bending illusions, which he shares through his Twitter account. His self-introduction tweet, by the way, is exactly like you’d expect of someone with his profession.

▼ Sit still, Akiyoshi! Oh, wait…you are.

Getting back to those strawberries though, if the pixels in the image aren’t red, than what color are they? Those who’ve taken the time to collect samples show that they’re various shades of gray or cyan.

The illusion is the result of a phenomenon called color constancy, which is usually a good thing. In very simple terms, color constancy is what lets you continue to perceive an object as being the same color even if the color of the illuminating light changes. Even after you carry a piece of plain white paper down into a room it with a red light bulb, for example, your brain still understands that the paper itself is as white as it was before.

▼ Oranges that aren’t orange? So does that makes them gray-blues?

What makes things really startling is how subtle yet thorough the process can be. In the case of the strawberries, one could argue that common and prior knowledge that strawberries are red influences how Kitaoka’s photo is perceived, but what if we were talking about something that there’s no standard, preconceived color for, like a train? Color constancy still works, based on color cues your brain is trying to pick up on elsewhere in the image.

Likewise, even if you’ve never been to Japan and don’t know that green and red are the most common colors for payphones and public mailboxes, respectively, in the country, you can still get fooled by these illusions.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what those strawberries originally looked like…

Now we’re all left to wonder what mind-blowing illusions will come next from the Kitaoka family kitchen.

Sources: Jin, IT Media
Featured image: Twitter/@AkiyoshiKitaoka

Follow Casey on Twitter, where it’s impossible for him to look at optical illusoons without getting mad at his brain.