Day R H, Stecher E J, 1991, "Sine of an illusion" Perception 20(1) 49 – 55
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Sine of an illusion
Ross H Day, Erica J Stecher
Received 5 September 1990, in revised form 17 November 1990
Abstract. In an informally observed sine-wave figure in which the vertical extent between contours was constant, apparent extent in the crest and trough (the 'turns') appeared greater than in the straight oblique sections of the figure. This observation was confirmed in two experiments in which the vertical extents were matched by two vertically arranged dots. It was found that in a turn the apparent extent was greater than the true extent, but in a straight section both extents were about equal. These outcomes were confirmed when the two sections were each separated from the figure and presented alone. The illusion is explained in terms of a perceptual compromise between the vertical extent and the greater overall dimensions of the section at the turn of the sine-wave figure and is thereby held to be the same in principle as the Müller-Lyer illusion.
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