A novel illusion in apparent size is reported. We asked observers to estimate the width and depth of vertically oriented elliptic cylinders depicted with texture or luminance gradients (experiment 1), or the height of horizontally oriented elliptic cylinders depicted with binocular disparity (experiment 2). The estimated width or height of cylinders showed systematic shrink-age in the direction of the gradual depth change. The dissimilarity of 2-D appearance amongst our stimuli implies a large variation in spatial-frequency components and brightness contrasts, eliminating the possibility that these parameters contributed to the illusion. Also, the mechanism inappropriately triggered by pictorial depth cues (eg size scaling) may be irrelevant, because the illusion was obtained even when binocular disparity alone specified the shape of the cylinders. The illusion demonstrated here suggests that our visual system may determine the size of 3-D objects by accounting for their depth structures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Sensory Systems
- Artificial Intelligence