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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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On the Watercolor Illusion

On the Watercolor Illusion

Chapter:
(p.426) Chapter 57 On the Watercolor Illusion
Source:
The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions
Author(s):

Baingio Pinna

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794607.003.0057

The watercolor illusion is a long-range assimilative spread of color emanating from a thin colored line running contiguous to a darker chromatic contour and imparting a figure-ground effect across a large area. The watercolored figure appears evenly colored by an opaque light veil of chromatic tint (coloration effect), with a clear surface color property spreading from the lighter edges. At the same time, the watercolored figure manifests a strong figure-ground organization and a solid figural appearance comparable to a rounded surface segregated in depth which extends out from the flat surface. The complementary region appears as a hole or empty space. The phenomenal properties of coloration and figure-ground effects and their relationship are described and demonstrated. The watercolor illusion and its main effects are discussed in the light of parallel mechanisms. Boundary and surface dynamics are processed by the boundary contour system and by the feature contour system.

Keywords:   figure-ground effect, illusions, watercolor illusion, coloration, boundary contour system, feature contour system

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