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The warped geometry of visual space near a line assessed using a hyperacuity displacement task

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

Badcock and Westheimer (Spatial Vision 1 (1), 3-11, 1985) showed that a thin vertical line induces nearby zones of attraction and repulsion; this study extends those results by more closely examining the horizontal and vertical extents of the repulsion zone and by using an illusory contour to induce repulsion. The experimental paradigm measures perceived hyperacute displacements of a thin vertical line 10' tall. Halfway through the stimulus, the bright target line was shifted and a lower contrast flanking line added. Conditions equivalent to Badcock and Westheimer replicate their results. Repulsion is observed horizontally from separations of 5' to at least 30' and becomes minimal at 50'. Repulsion also decreases with increasing vertical separation. Another experiment shows that symmetry is not required for repulsion when the flanking line is split into two vertically separated fragments; one fragment alone causes the same amount of repulsion as both fragments together. Finally, it is shown that a flanking contour formed by the grating illusion causes repulsion of the target line in the same manner as a target line defined by luminance.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Cognitive and Neural Systems, Boston University, 677 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02215, USA


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