Perceiving the present and a systematization of illusions

Changizi, Mark A, Hsieh, Andrew, Nijhawan, Romi, Kanai, Ryota and Shimojo, Shinsuke (2008) Perceiving the present and a systematization of illusions. Cognitive Science, 32 (3). pp. 459-503. ISSN 03640213

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Over the history of the study of visual perception there has been great success at discovering countless visual illusions. There has been less success in organizing the overwhelming variety of illusions into empirical generalizations (much less explaining them all via a unifying theory). Here, this article shows that it is possible to systematically organize more than 50 kinds of illusion into a 7 × 4 matrix of 28 classes. In particular, this article demonstrates that (1) smaller sizes, (2) slower speeds, (3) greater luminance contrast, (4) farther distance, (5) lower eccentricity, (6) greater proximity to the vanishing point, and (7) greater proximity to the focus of expansion all tend to have similar perceptual effects, namely, to (A) increase perceived size, (B) increase perceived speed, (C) decrease perceived luminance contrast, and (D) decrease perceived distance. The detection of these empirical regularities was motivated by a hypothesis, called ¿perceiving the present,¿ that the visual system possesses mechanisms for compensating neural delay during forward motion. This article shows how this hypothesis predicts the empirical regularity.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Romi Nijhawan
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:32
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2013 09:34
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