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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 Bathtub Illusion

The Bathtub Illusion

Chapter:
(p.238) Chapter 24 The Bathtub Illusion
Source:
The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions
Author(s):

Lydia M. Maniatis

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794607.003.0024

As we move around a picture, the light pattern projecting from it to our eye changes. The resulting percept also changes, but the nature of these changes varies from picture to picture. The contents of the picture may appear to remain parallel to the picture plane as it slants away from us, or they may undergo changes in their apparent shape and/or their orientation relative to the picture plane. The changes are a function of the geometry of the retinal projection competing with parallax cues to flatness. Here, a bathtub in a photo undergoes a radical shape change—from long and skinny to short and stubby—as we change our viewpoint.

Keywords:   percept, picture, retinal projection, shape, slant, viewpoint

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