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Toyomi Matsuno, Yuka Sato; Dissociation of perceived size and perceived strength in the scintillating grid illusion. Journal of Vision 2019;19(13):15. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/19.13.15.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The scintillating grid illusion is a geometric visual illusion where illusory dark spots are perceived on white circular patches that are located at the intersections of a grid pattern. Previous studies have measured the perceived strength of the illusory spots by varying stimulus and viewing conditions, to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the illusion; however, findings remain inconclusive. In the present study, we measured the perceived size of the illusory spots, in addition to their perceived strength, by varying the size of the geometric components and the orientation of the stimulus, to further investigate the mechanism behind this illusion. We found that the dependency of perceived spot size on the change of the stimulus parameters is dissociated from that of the perceived spot strength. The perceived size of the illusory spots linearly correlated with the size of the white patches and was less dependent on the width of the grid bars and the orientation of the stimulus, while the perceived strength was characterized by a quadratic relationship with patch size and bar width and was monotonically modulated depending on the orientation of the stimuli. These results suggest that different factors separately constrain size and strength within the processes that elicit the illusory spots. We propose that the mechanism underlying the scintillating grid illusion is based on the interruption of the surface formation process of white patches by the interference of the orientation signals of gray bars.
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