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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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Illusory Variations in Apparent Dot Brightness Induced by Density Modulations

Illusory Variations in Apparent Dot Brightness Induced by Density Modulations

Chapter:
(p.422) Chapter 56 Illusory Variations in Apparent Dot Brightness Induced by Density Modulations
Source:
The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions
Author(s):

Jeffrey B. Mulligan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794607.003.0056

When small, closely spaced dots are moved closer together, they appear brighter. The effect is observed for dot spacings of half a degree of visual angle or less and can be cancelled either by dimming the dots themselves or adding a compensating modulation to the background. The effects are easily observed and challenge current models of brightness perception. This illusion demonstrates that we are unable to judge the brightness of a small dot independently of the total amount of light falling in its local neighborhood. All of the dots are rendered with the same intensity, but the dots appear brighter in the regions where the density is higher.

Keywords:   dots, illusionary variations, dot brightness, density, light, modulation, brightness perception

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