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Matthew L. Patten, Colin W. G. Clifford; A bias-free measure of the tilt illusion. Journal of Vision 2015;15(15):8. doi: 10.1167/15.15.8.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The perceived orientation of a central test grating is influenced by the orientation structure of the surrounding image. Measurement of this “tilt illusion” traditionally requires subjects to report the orientation of the test relative to a cardinal reference (e.g., clockwise or anticlockwise of vertical). Given that the test is presented within a surround that is itself oriented clockwise or anticlockwise from vertical, there is obvious potential for the orientation of the surround to bias the subject's response irrespective of any perceptual effects. To avoid this bias, we ran a two temporal interval forced-choice experiment. The two intervals contained opposite surround orientations (±15°), and we manipulated the orientation of the center gratings. Participants were asked to judge which of the test gratings was closer to vertical. We found no significant difference between measurements of the tilt illusion using the traditional and two-interval procedures. We then examined interindividual differences in a larger sample and found a significant correlation between the magnitudes of the tilt illusion measured using the two procedures. Our experiments demonstrate a method free from response bias in measuring the tilt illusion although our results indicate that response biases were unlikely to factor significantly in prior tilt illusion experiments.
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