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Barber-pole illusions and plaids: the influence of aperture shape on motion perception

journal contribution
posted on 1993-01-01, 00:00 authored by Alexander MussapAlexander Mussap, B Crassini
The barber-pole illusion and its influence on plaid perception were investigated in two experiments to test the following expectations: (i) apertures which bias the perception of grating motion in directions consistent with plaid direction will facilitate plaid perception, and (ii) apertures which bias the perception of grating motion in directions inconsistent with plaid direction will disrupt plaid perception. In experiment 1 the barber-pole illusion was measured as a function of grating orientation (20 degrees, 45 degrees, and 70 degrees, clockwise and counterclockwise from horizontal), and aperture shape (vertical, horizontal; at each of three elongations). Barber-pole illusions reported with 45 degrees gratings increased with increased aperture elongation. However, this was not found with 20 degrees and 70 degrees gratings; these were almost always reported as moving in a direction parallel to the side of the aperture with which the gratings formed angles approaching 90 degrees. In experiment 2 this dependence of barber-pole illusions on the relative orientation between gratings and apertures was also evident with 45 degrees gratings in oblique apertures; only oblique directions of grating motion were reported. The influence of the same apertures on the separate contrast thresholds required for initial plaid coherence and initial plaid decomposition was measured. In experiments 1 and 2, coherence thresholds were unaffected by apertures, contrary to expectation (i). However, in both experiments expectation (ii) was confirmed; decomposition thresholds decreased in apertures which biased perceived direction of gratings towards vertical (plaid direction), and increased in apertures which biased grating motion away from vertical. Adaptation of plaid mechanisms during measurement of decomposition thresholds was proposed to explain the discrepancy between coherence and decomposition data. Taken together, the results were interpreted as reflecting interactions between mechanisms mediating the barber-pole illusion and mechanisms mediating plaid perception.

History

Journal

Perception

Volume

22

Pagination

1155-1174

Location

London, Eng.

ISSN

0301-0066

Language

eng

Publication classification

CN.1 Other journal article

Copyright notice

1993, Sage

Issue

10

Publisher

Sage Publications

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