Can You See All Twelve Black Dots At Once?

By on September 13, 2016
Can You See All Twelve Black Dots At Once?

There are actually twelve black dots, but as Akiyoshi Kitaoka, the psychology professor at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, recently noted on Facebook, most people won’t be able to see them at once.

All twelve dots are really on the image, but most people are unable to see them all at the same time, making the dots seem like they appear and disappear with every blink. This occurs because the eye’s stimulated light receptors can sometimes influence the ones next to them, creating illusions.

In this particular image, tweeted by game developer Will Kerslake on Sunday, the brain can see some black dots but guesses when it fills in the peripheral vision. Because mostly grey lines appear in the periphery, the black dots don’t appear.

The image is a variation on the Hermann grid illusion, a diagram of black squares separated by white lines. Dark patches appear where the white lines intersect, but only in a person’s periphery.

How many dots can you see at once?

Muriel M. Delossantos

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  1. Fritz

    September 13, 2016 at 11:31 am

    “How many dots can you see at once?”

    Four, but I really have to work at it.

    • Samantha

      September 13, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      i got to 6, and I think i gave myself a headache.

    • Mike

      September 13, 2016 at 1:32 pm

      On the first picture I only saw 6. And there’s nothing that I can do to see 12. Now on the second picture I saw all 12, and at once. There’s a trick. If you’re on a laptop, fold your screen down until you see all 12 dots.

  2. Mark Klapheke

    September 13, 2016 at 11:38 am

    You did not put the whole array up there are only six on this image

    • Bill Walker

      September 13, 2016 at 12:34 pm

      Exactly. I copied the image and enlarged it 210%. Only 6 black dots. What a waste of time…

    • Paul

      September 13, 2016 at 12:47 pm

      There are 12. Three rows of four each. I can only see 2 at once..

  3. Seb

    September 13, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    On the Twitter image I can see all 12. You didn’t specify what it means if you can see all 12.

    • Mike

      September 13, 2016 at 1:38 pm

      I know, Seb. It probably means we’re all psycho.

    • Linda Weinmunson

      September 13, 2016 at 1:51 pm

      It means you took the red pill.

  4. Dot Seer

    September 13, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Nope, all twelve are there — I can see them. I have to build up to it, “learning” where they are and “remembering” to see them. Could only see one when I started.

  5. Sid Leake

    September 13, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    6 in the top, small image, 12 in the bottom, large image

  6. bfpecker

    September 13, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    please tell me they didn’t pay someone for this most remarkable, life shattering study

  7. Larry

    September 13, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Two. Very cool!

  8. Lane Staton

    September 13, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    I only see six dots.

  9. Carlton

    September 13, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    I can see all twelve also. What does that mean?

  10. Erin

    September 13, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    I see 12 with my eyes crossed. 😀

    • Dakota

      September 13, 2016 at 1:40 pm

      ha ha, wtg, I didn’t think of trying that…

  11. K Cole

    September 13, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    There. Are. FOUR. LIGHTS!!!!

  12. michael stoneking

    September 13, 2016 at 1:09 pm


  13. THR

    September 13, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    I can’t believe people waste their time with stuff like this. Get a job!

  14. Jeff

    September 13, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    It’s very frustrating that your article shows a cropped version with only SIX dots. There is no logical reason to scroll down to look for the real image and many likely never did. BTW, if you stare long enough you will see all 12,000 characters in this comment.

  15. Dakota

    September 13, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    There are 12 … 3 rows of 4 ( top, middle & bottom ) but I can only see 1 row of 4 at a time

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