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A continuously lit stimulus is perceived to be shorter than a flickering stimulus during a saccade

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image of Spatial Vision
For more content, see Multisensory Research and Seeing and Perceiving.

When subjects made a saccade across a single-flashed dot, a flickering dot or a continuous dot, they perceived a dot, an array (phantom array), or a line (phantom line), respectively. We asked subjects to localize both endpoints of the phantom array or line and calculated the perceived lengths. Based on the findings of Matsumiya and Uchikawa (2001), we predicted that the apparent length of the phantom line would be larger than that of the phantom array. In Experiment 1 of the current study, contrary to the prediction, the phantom line was found to be shorter than the phantom array. In Experiment 2, we investigated whether the function underlying the filled-unfilled space illusion (Lewis, 1912) instead of the function underlying the saccadic compression could explain the results. Subjects were asked to localize both endpoints of a line or an array while keeping their eyes fixated. Although the results of Experiment 2 showed that the perceived length of a line was shorter than that of an array, the function underlying the filled-unfilled illusion could not fully account for the results of Experiment 1. To explain the present results, we proposed a model for the localization process and discussed its validity.


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