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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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The Spinning Ellipse Speed Illusion

The Spinning Ellipse Speed Illusion

Chapter:
(p.170) Chapter 13 The Spinning Ellipse Speed Illusion
Source:
The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions
Author(s):

Gideon Paul Caplovitz

Po-Jang Hsieh

Peter J. Kohler

Katharine B. Porter

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794607.003.0013

The Spinning Ellipse Speed Illusion is an illusion of perceived speed in which a low-aspect ratio “fat” ellipse will appear to rotate more slowly than a higher-aspect ratio “skinny” ellipse that is rotating at the same speed. This illusory percept can be observed when the ellipses are defined by luminance, color, relative motion, and dotted contours and across a wide range of rotational speeds and eccentricities. The illusion is not limited to rotating ellipses and can be observed with different-shaped contours as well. The Spinning Ellipse Speed Illusion illustrates that the perceived speed of a rotating object depends in part on the form and form features of the object. Objects without characteristic form features such as regions of high or discontinuous contour curvature will appear to rotate more slowly than objects that have these features.

Keywords:   Spinning Ellipse Speed Illusion, motion, form features, motion, rotation

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