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Sieu K. Khuu; The role of motion streaks in the perception of the kinetic Zollner illusion. Journal of Vision 2012;12(6):19. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/12.6.19.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
In classic geometric illusions such as the Zollner illusion, vertical lines superimposed on oriented background lines appear tilted in the direction opposite to the background. In kinetic forms of this illusion, an object moving over oriented background lines appears to follow a titled path, again in the direction opposite to the background. Existing literature does not proffer a complete explanation of the effect. Here, it is suggested that motion streaks underpin the illusion; that the effect is a consequence of interactions between detectors tuned to the orientation of background lines and those sensing the motion streaks that arise from fast object motion. This account was examined in the present study by measuring motion-tilt induction under different conditions in which the strength or salience of motion streaks was attenuated: by varying object speed (Experiment 1), contrast (Experiment 2), and trajectory/length by changing the element life-time within the stimulus (Experiment 3). It was predicted that, as motion streaks become less available, background lines would less affect the perceived direction of motion. Consistent with this prediction, the results indicated that, with a reduction in object speed below that required to generate motion streaks (< 1.12°/s), Weber contrast (< 0.125) and motion streak length (two frames) reduced or extinguished the motion-tilt-induction effect. The findings of the present study are consistent with previous reports and computational models that directly combine form and motion information to provide an effective determinant of motion direction.
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