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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: 23 October 2021

An Analysis of Theoretical Approaches to Geometrical-Optical Illusions

An Analysis of Theoretical Approaches to Geometrical-Optical Illusions

(p.64) Chapter 4 An Analysis of Theoretical Approaches to Geometrical-Optical Illusions
The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions

Barbara Gillam

Oxford University Press

The geometrical optical illusions, such as the Müller-Lyer and the Poggendorff, are simple line drawings, which demonstrate errors as large as 25% when people are asked to match their properties such as size, angles, and line collinearity. They have been tantalizing people for at least 150 years and are still not really understood. Illusion figures have been used to probe the consistency of different perceptual properties and also of perception and action with implications for the theory of two visual systems. Explanations of geometrical illusions tend to invoke either physiological processes or the functional role illusion responses may have when viewing a 3D scene. This chapter examines all of these theoretical issues, discussing evidence for and against the major theories.

Keywords:   geometrical-optical illusions, visual systems, illusion responses, 3D scene, illusions

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