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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

The Scintillating Grid

The Scintillating Grid

(p.400) Chapter 52 The Scintillating Grid
The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions

Bernd Lingelbach

Oxford University Press

The scintillating grid was first presented at the European Conference on Visual Perception in Tübingen in 1995. At the time, the prevailing explanation of the Hermann grid illusion was in terms of the arrangement of the receptive fields on the retina. The minor modification of having a grey instead of a white grid with white dots at the intersections produced a strikingly new and powerful illusion. Instead of the white dots, dark black dots are seen to “blink” and appear even darker in intensity than the black printer’s ink of the square. They then disappear again to reappear immediately somewhere else. The dark diagonals that appear from time to time fitted more to low-pass filtering. The study of low-pass filtered Hermann grids led to the discovery of the scintillating grid and several variants. To this day this illusion still has not been fully explained.

Keywords:   Hermann grid, low-pass filtered Hermann grid, scintillating grid, receptive fields, retina

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