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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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Backscroll Illusion

Backscroll Illusion

(p.486) Chapter 65 Backscroll Illusion
The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions

Kiyoshi Fujimoto

Oxford University Press

Human vision recognizes the direction of a human, an animal, and objects in translational motion, even when they are displayed in a still position on a screen as filmed by a panning camera and with the background erased. Because there is no clue to relative motion between the object and the background, the recognition relies on a facing direction and/or movements of its internal parts like limbs. Such high-level object-based motion representation is capable of affecting lower-level motion perception. An ambiguous motion pattern is inserted to the screen behind the translating object. Then the pattern appears moving in a direction opposite to that which the object implies. This is called the backscroll illusion, and psychophysical studies were conducted to investigate phenomenal aspects with the hypothesis that the illusion reflects a strategy the visual system adopts in everyday circumstances. The backscroll illusion convincingly demonstrates that natural images contain visual illusions.

Keywords:   illusion, motion perception, translational motion, ambiguous motion, relative motion, object-based motion

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