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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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The Visual World as Illusion

The Visual World as Illusion

The Ones We Know and the Ones We Don’t

Chapter:
(p.90) Chapter 7 The Visual World as Illusion
Source:
The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions
Author(s):

Stephen Grossberg

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794607.003.0007

This chapter shows how visual illusions arise from neural processes that play an adaptive role in achieving the remarkable perceptual capabilities of advanced brains. It clarifies that many visual percepts are visual illusions, in the sense that they arise from active processes that reorganize and complete perceptual representations from the noisy data received by retinas. Some of these representations look illusory, whereas others look real. The chapter heuristically summarizes explanations of illusions that arise due to completion of perceptual groupings, filling-in of surface lightnesses and colors, transformation of ambiguous motion signals into coherent percepts of object motion direction and speed, and interactions between the form and motion cortical processing streams. A central theme is that the brain is organized into parallel processing streams with computationally complementary properties, that interstream interactions overcome these complementary deficiencies to compute effective representations of the world, and how these representations generate visual illusions.

Keywords:   visual illusion, perceptual grouping, filling-in, form, motion signals, processing streams

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