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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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Changing the Chevreul Illusion by a Background Luminance Ramp

Changing the Chevreul Illusion by a Background Luminance Ramp

(p.356) Chapter 44 Changing the Chevreul Illusion by a Background Luminance Ramp
The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions

János Geier

Mariann Hudák

Oxford University Press

The Chevreul illusion comprises adjacent homogeneous grey bands of different luminance, which are perceived as inhomogeneous. It is generally explained by lateral inhibition. When the Chevreul staircase is placed in a luminance ramp background, the illusion noticeably changes. Since all conditions of the lateral inhibition account are untouched within the staircase, lateral inhibition (which is a local model) fails to model these perceptual changes. Another ramp was placed around the staircase, whose direction was opposite to that of the original, larger ramp. The result here is that though the inner ramp is rather narrow, it still dominates perception. The chapter concludes that long-range interactions between boundary edges and areas enclosed by them provide a much more plausible account for these brightness phenomena, and local models are insufficient.

Keywords:   Chevreul illusion, lateral inhibition, long-range interactions, brightness phenomena, boundary

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