September 2005
Volume 5, Issue 8
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2005
White's effect: removing the junctions but preserving the strength of the illusion
Author Affiliations
  • Margaret S. Livingstone
    Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
  • Piers D. Howe
    Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
Journal of Vision September 2005, Vol.5, 562. doi:10.1167/5.8.562
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      Margaret S. Livingstone, Piers D. Howe; White's effect: removing the junctions but preserving the strength of the illusion. Journal of Vision 2005;5(8):562. doi: 10.1167/5.8.562.

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Abstract

White's effect (also known as the Munker-White effect) is a lightness illusion in which, contrary to expectations based on simultaneous contrast and Wallach's rule, a gray rectangle predominantly surrounded by white appears lighter than an identical gray rectangle that is mainly surrounded by black. The illusion is often explained in terms of T-junctions that are formed by the three-way intersection of the gray rectangle, a black stripe and a white stripe. In our study we employed a circular variant of White's effect in which all the junctions had been removed. We found that the strength of the illusion was not significantly affected, suggesting that junctions are not an important consideration in all versions of White's effect. We argue that we can explain this new illusion, as well as certain other challenging versions of White's effect, in terms of Gestalt grouping laws and the Anchoring Theory of Lightness Perception (Gilchrist et al., 1999, Psychological Review, 106 795–834).

Livingstone, M. S. Howe, P. D. (2005). White's effect: removing the junctions but preserving the strength of the illusion [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 5(8):562, 562a, http://journalofvision.org/5/8/562/, doi:10.1167/5.8.562. [CrossRef]
Footnotes
 We wish to sincerely thank Paola Bressan, Stephen Grossberg, Ennio Mingolla, Heiko Neumann and Arash Yazdanbakhsh for helpful comments on this study. In addition M.L. received financial support from NIH grant EY 13135 and P.H. from the Helen Hay Whi
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