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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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Improbable Illusory Contours

Improbable Illusory Contours

Chapter:
(p.463) Chapter 62 Improbable Illusory Contours
Source:
The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions
Author(s):

Barton L. Anderson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794607.003.0062

Illusory contours are one of the most widely studied kinds of visual illusion. Illusory contours are often understood as an adaptive response to filling-in missing information created from conditions of camouflage. This chapter describes a new class of very vivid illusory contours that appear impossible to understand as forms of rational inference. It presents a set of illusory contours that emerge in conditions for which there is no missing information or need for their synthesis. It argues that such contours provide a valuable testing ground for both specific theories of illusory contour formation, and general theories of perceptual organization. Videos made specifically for this chapter help illustrate the concepts discussed.

Keywords:   illusionary contour, rational inference, theories, contour formation, perceptual organization

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