+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Phenomena of illusory form: can we bridge the gap between levels of explanation?



Phenomena of illusory form: can we bridge the gap between levels of explanation?



Perception 24(11): 1333-1364



The study of illusory brightness and contour phenomena has become an important tool in modern brain research. Gestalt, cognitive, neural, and computational approaches are reviewed and their explanatory powers are discussed in the light of empirical data. Two well-known phenomena of illusory form are dealt with, the Ehrenstein illusion and the Kanizsa triangle. It is argued that the gap between the different levels of explanation, bottom-up versus top-down, creates scientific barriers which have all too often engendered unnecessary debate about who is right and who is wrong. In this review of the literature we favour an integrative approach to the question of how illusory form is derived from stimulus configuration which provide the visual system with seemingly incomplete information. The processes that can explain the emergence of these phenomena range from local feature detection to global strategies of perceptual organisation. These processes may be similar to those that help us restore partially occluded objects in everyday vision. To understand better the Ehrenstein and Kanizsa illusions, it is proposed that different levels of analysis and explanation are not mutually exclusive, but complementary. Theories of illusory contour and form perception must, therefore, take into account the underlying neurophysiological mechanisms and their possible interactions with cognitive and attentional processes.

Please choose payment method:






(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 046973339

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 8643336

DOI: 10.1068/p241333


Related references

A new look at Op art: towards a simple explanation of illusory motion. Die Naturwissenschaften 91(4): 149-156, 2004

Perspective-based illusory movement in a flat billboard--an explanation. Perception 39(8): 1086-1093, 2010

Cognitive styles: illusory phenomena. Perceptual and Motor Skills 60(1): 201-202, 1985

Explanation of illusory contours in terms of strength of pattern and its spread effect. Perceptual and Motor Skills 81(3 Pt 1): 1003-1020, 1995

Subjective rarefaction in illusory figures: the inadequacy of apparent lightness as an explanation. Perception 16(4): 461-466, 1987

Towards a new explanation for the geometrical illusions. I. The properties of contours which induce illusory distortion. British Journal of Psychology 60(2): 179-185, 1969

Towards a new explanation for the geometrical illusions part 1 the properties of contours which induce illusory distortion. British Journal of Psychology 60(Part 2): 179-185, 1969

Amodal completion, depth stratification, and illusory figures: a test of Kanizsa's explanation. Perception 21(3): 325-335, 1992

Art pieces that 'move' in our minds--an explanation of illusory motion based on depth reversal. Spatial Vision 21(1-2): 79-95, 2007

Explanation of dose-dependent decline of diphenylhydantoin plasma levels by fitting to the integrated form of the Michaelis-Menten equation. Research Communications in Chemical Pathology and Pharmacology 3(3): 455-466, 1972

Illusory Reduplication of One's Own Body: Phenomenology and Classification of Autoscopic Phenomena. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry 2(1): 19-38, 1997

Visual illusory and hallucinatory phenomena in a patient with left occipital seizures. Neurology 67(8): 1457-1457, 2006

Is a common grouping mechanism involved in the phenomena of illusory continuity and stream segregation?. Perception & Psychophysics 61(2): 195-205, 1999

Two cases of variant form angina pectoris associated with myocardial bridge--a possible relationship among coronary vasospasm, atherosclerosis and myocardial bridge. Japanese Circulation Journal 56(12): 1248-1252, 1992

Perioperative whole blood plasticizer levels in jarvik bridge to bridge transplant and coronary bypass patients. Clinical & Investigative Medicine 10(4 Suppl. B): B142, 1987