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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 Ternus Effect

The Ternus Effect

Chapter:
(p.685) Chapter 99 The Ternus Effect
Source:
The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions
Author(s):

Elisabeth Hein

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794607.003.0099

The Ternus effect refers to an ambiguous apparent motion display in which two or three elements presented in succession and shifted horizontally by one position can be perceived as either a group of elements moving together or as one element jumping across the other(s). This chapter introduces the phenomenon and describes observations made by Pikler and Ternus in the beginning of the twentieth century. Next, reasons for continued interest in the Ternus effect are discussed and an overview of factors that influence it offered, including low-level image-based factors, for example luminance, as well as higher-level scene-based factors, for example perceptual grouping. The chapter ends with a discussion of theories regarding the mechanisms underlying the Ternus effect, providing insight into how the visual system is able to perceive coherent objects in the world despite discontinuities in the input (e.g., as a consequence of eye movements or object occlusion).

Keywords:   Ternus effect, Pikler, ambiguous apparent motion, perceptual grouping, image-based, scene-based

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