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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 Scramble Illusion

The Scramble Illusion

Texture Metamers

Chapter:
(p.668) Chapter 96 The Scramble Illusion
Source:
The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions
Author(s):

Charles Chubb

Joseph Darcy

Michael S. Landy

John Econopouly

Dan Bindman Jong-Ho Nam

George Sperling

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794607.003.0096

A “scramble” is a visual texture in which different gray levels are randomly mixed together. Past research has demonstrated that human vision has three dimensions of sensitivity to the different sorts of scrambles that can be created by varying the proportions of different gray levels included in the scramble. This chapter demonstrates two scrambles with dramatically different gray level histograms that appear identical unless the observer is specifically instructed to scrutinize each of them individually. It is argued that people fail to notice any difference between these two scrambles because there exist only three distinct classes of texture-sensitive neurons in the human brain that are differentially sensitive to scrambles, and in each of them these two scrambles produce identical levels of activation.

Keywords:   scramble illusion, texture metamers, visual texture, texture-sensitive neurons, scramble

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