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The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions$
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Arthur G. Shapiro and Dejan Todorovic

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199794607

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794607.001.0001

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The White Effect

The White Effect

Chapter:
(p.327) Chapter 39 The White Effect
Source:
The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions
Author(s):

Barbara Blakeslee

Mark E. McCourt

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794607.003.0039

The White effect is an illusion in which gray test patches of identical luminance placed on the black and white bars of a square-wave grating appear different in brightness/lightness. The effect has received much attention because the direction of the brightness change does not correlate with the amount of black or white border in contact with the gray test patch or its general vicinity. The test patch on the black bar appears lighter than the test patch on the white bar despite changes in test patch height or inducing grating spatial frequency. In addition, although the test patch shows a smooth change in brightness/lightness as its spatial position is varied relative to the inducing grating, spatial inhomogeneities in brightness/lightness within the test patch are also visible. A large number of “higher-level” explanations have been offered for the White effect; only the oriented-difference-of-Gaussians model can account for all of these properties.

Keywords:   White’s effect, brightness, lightness, model, spatial position

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