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D. Alan Stubbs, Consatnce Stubbs; Photographic exploration of illusory contours. Journal of Vision 2008;8(6):592. doi: 10.1167/8.6.592.
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Many variations of illusory or subjective contours have been devised, and these have clarified the nature of these figures and the conditions that lead to them. However, most of the stimuli have been produced by drawings that have used limited palettes. In contrast we used photographs to produce stimuli in a variety of different ways to assess whether strong illusory con-tour effects would result. Stimuli like those commonly used (e.g. a circle with a pie shape missing) were made and then photographed. Illusory con-tours were present when the stimuli were photographed at an angle, when the different circles were placed on steps and different distances, and when the circular pieces were at right angles to each other. Illusory contours re-sulted when actual apple pies with missing pieces were used. And illusory contours resulted in many cases when photographs formed both figure and ground. We show examples in which the illusory contours are both weaker and stronger and discuss some of the factors that affect illusory contours in photographic situations.
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