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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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Vasarely’s Nested Squares and the Alternating Brightness Star Illusion

Vasarely’s Nested Squares and the Alternating Brightness Star Illusion

Chapter:
(p.407) Chapter 54 Vasarely’s Nested Squares and the Alternating Brightness Star Illusion
Source:
The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions
Author(s):

Susana Martinez-Conde

Stephen L. Macknik

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794607.003.0054

The arts sometimes precede the sciences in the discovery of fundamental visual principles. Victor Vasarely’s “Nested Squares” show an illusory effect in which corners look brighter and more salient than straight edges, despite having equivalent luminance. This chapter summarizes recent research, originally based on Victor Vasarely’s Nested Squares illusion, to discover the related perceptual and underlying physiological principles. The results offer significant insights into how corners, angles, curves, and line endings affect the appearance of brightness, shape, salience, depth, and color in our brains. Concepts covered include the alternating brightness star illusion, center-surround simulations, brain activation, corner perception, and the redundancy-reducing hypothesis.

Keywords:   corners, angles, Vasarely, nested squares, alternating brightness star, redundancy-reducing hypothesis

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