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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 Chinese Lantern Illusion

The Chinese Lantern Illusion

Chapter:
(p.437) Chapter 58 The Chinese Lantern Illusion
Source:
The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions
Author(s):

Sergio Roncato

Sandro Bettella

Clara Casco

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794607.003.0058

This chapter discusses a distortion in the perception of straightness not with reference to a line but to a contour formed by a sequence of aligned angles, such as those forming the borders of Chinese lanterns. An outline contour may appear to deviate from straightness when the contrast sign along the contour inverts. These local distortions may be observed with a jagged contour as well. This chapter provides some demonstrations in which regular rectangles contoured by a sawtooth borders appear to periodically contract/expand in synch with the phases of luminance variation of surfaces or borders. To explain these phenomena, we need to call into cause a large spatial range of interpolation of the local distortions along the contour.

Keywords:   contour, contour inverts, perception, aligned angles, Chinese lanterns, sawtooth borders, luminance

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