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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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Cast Shadow Illusions

Cast Shadow Illusions

Chapter:
(p.214) Chapter 20 Cast Shadow Illusions
Source:
The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions
Author(s):

Daniel Kersten

Pascal Mamassian

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794607.003.0020

Cast shadows are present in almost every scene we view, yet very little is known about how the brain processes them. On the one hand, shadows can interfere with the visual ability to recognize objects, while on the other hand, they provide critical information for where objects are in a scene. Because shadows can provide compelling cues for location in depth, these cues can overcome other competing sources of information, resulting in illusions. By studying shadow illusions, one can gain insight into the built-in assumptions the brain has about the nature of illumination and its interaction with the surfaces we view each day.

Keywords:   cast shadows, depth, illumination, cues, brain

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