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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 September 2021

Why Do Hills Look So Steep?

Why Do Hills Look So Steep?

(p.190) Chapter 16 Why Do Hills Look So Steep?
The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions

Frank H. Durgin

Zhi Li

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the visual perception of hills. Hills look much steeper than they are. This chapter reviews current knowledge of the phenomenology of slant perception in relation to both functionalist and mechanistic accounts of this perceptual bias. Recent discoveries suggest that this misperception of the geometry of our environment may be related to useful biological information coding strategies with respect to not only slant but also other angular variables relevant to the biological measurement of surface layout. Even in the absence of hills, people misperceive the angular declination of their gaze systematically in ways that seem to contribute to the vertical expansion of the perceived environment.

Keywords:   slant, perception, angular declination, surface layout, hills

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