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Aline F. Cretenoud, Harun Karimpur, Lukasz Grzeczkowski, Gregory Francis, Kai Hamburger, Michael H. Herzog; Factors underlying visual illusions are illusion-specific but not feature-specific. Journal of Vision 2019;19(14):12. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/19.14.12.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Common factors are ubiquitous. For example, there is a common factor, g, for intelligence. In vision, there is much weaker evidence for such common factors. For example, visual illusion magnitudes correlate only weakly with each other. Here, we investigated whether illusions are hyper-specific as in perceptual learning. First, we tested 19 variants of the Ebbinghaus illusion that differed in color, shape, or texture. Correlations between the illusion magnitudes of the different variants were mostly significant. Second, we reanalyzed a dataset from a previous experiment where 10 illusions were tested under four conditions of luminance and found significant correlations between the different luminance conditions of each illusion. However, there were only very weak correlations between the 10 different illusions. Third, five visual illusions were tested with four orientations. Again, there were significant correlations between the four orientations of each illusion, but not across different illusions. The weak inter-illusion correlations suggest that there is no unique common mechanism for the tested illusions. We suggest that most illusions make up their own factor.
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