Earle D C, Maskell S J, 2000, "Slope and the Zöllner illusion" Perception 29(3) 313 – 324
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Slope and the Zöllner illusion
David C Earle, Stephen J Maskell
Received 30 September 1998, in revised form 20 August 1999
Abstract. Informal observation suggests that the magnitude of the Zöllner illusion is reduced when the figure is viewed on a sloping plane. The hypothesis that this effect derives from the enlargement of the acute angle of intersection between the obliques and the verticals in the figure when it is viewed on a sloping plane is here investigated. The magnitude of the Zöllner illusion was measured with the use of a visual analogue scale. The results show that the change in the magnitude of the Zöllner effect as a function of the slope of the figure is different from that for corresponding figures, with enlarged angles of intersection between the obliques and the verticals, presented vertically. It is concluded that the enlargement of the angles of intersection can only partly account for the reduction of the Zöllner effect when the figure is viewed under slope, and that some other factor must be involved. An alternative hypothesis is evaluated whereby the effects result from the diminution in the contrast of the obliques when the figure is viewed under slope. Data are also presented to show that observers are able to perceive the enlarged or foreshortened angles of intersection veridically.
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