Kitaoka A, Ashida H, 2007, "A variant of the anomalous motion illusion based upon contrast and visual latency" Perception 36(7) 1019 – 1035
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A variant of the anomalous motion illusion based upon contrast and visual latency
Akiyoshi Kitaoka, Hiroshi Ashida
Received 1 October 2004, in revised form 28 October 2006; published online 8 June 2007
Abstract. We examined a variant of the anomalous motion illusion. In a series of experiments, we ascertained luminance contrast to be the critical factor. Low-contrast random dots showed longer latency than high-contrast ones, irrespective of whether they were dark or light (experiments 1 – 3). We conjecture that this illusion may share the same mechanism with the Hess effect, which is characterised by visual delay of a low-contrast, dark stimulus in a moving situation. Since the Hess effect is known as the monocular version of the Pulfrich effect, we examined whether illusory motion in depth could be observed if a high-contrast pattern was projected to one eye and the same pattern of low-contrast was presented to the other eye, and they were binocularly fused and swayed horizontally. Observers then reported illusory motion in depth when the low-contrast pattern was dark, but they did not when it was bright (experiment 4). Possible explanations of this inconsistency are discussed.
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