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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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On the Pinna Illusion

On the Pinna Illusion

(p.536) Chapter 74 On the Pinna Illusion
The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions

Baingio Pinna

Oxford University Press

The Pinna illusion is the first case of visual illusion showing a rotating motion phenomenon. Squares, arranged in two concentric rings, show a strong counter-rotation effect. The inner ring of the squares appears to rotate counterclockwise and the outer ring clockwise when the observer’s head is slowly moved toward the figure while the gaze is kept fixed in the center of the stimulus pattern. The direction of rotation is reversed when the observer’s head moves away from the stimulus. The speed of the illusory rotation is proportional to the one of the motion imparted by the observer. While the way each individual check receives a local illusory motion signal can be explained by the response of direction-selective neurons at the earliest cortical stage of visual processing, the whole illusory rotational motion can be thought to be sensed by the higher cortical area, which collates all the signals provided by the local motion checks.

Keywords:   motion signal, direction-selective neurons, visual illusion, Pinna illusion, rotation

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