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The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions$
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Arthur G. Shapiro and Dejan Todorovic

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199794607

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794607.001.0001

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Early History of Illusions

Early History of Illusions

Chapter:
(p.3) Chapter 1 Early History of Illusions
Source:
The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions
Author(s):

Nicholas J. Wade

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794607.003.0001

Illusions are considered in the context of the history of vision rather than the history of psychology. For much of its long history, the study of vision has been confined to naturalistic observation, and many motion illusions were observed in the natural world. With the move to the laboratory, the oddities of visual perception multiplied, and they received ever more detailed scrutiny. This survey examines the origins of research on visual illusions in both the natural world and the laboratory. It commences with celestial illusions and pictorial representation then proceeds to subjective visual phenomena and spatial illusions like ambiguous figures and geometrical optical illusions. However, most attention is paid to motion illusions; these include visual persistence and stroboscopic motion, induced motion, motion aftereffects, visual vertigo, and autokinetic sensations. The basis for the explosion of research on visual illusions in the nineteenth century is speculated upon.

Keywords:   ambiguous figures, geometrical optical illusions, motion illusions, subjective visual phenomena

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