Journal article

Explaining the footsteps, belly dancer, Wenceslas, and kickback illusions

Piers DL Howe, Peter G Thompson, Stuart M Anstis, Hersh Sagreiya, Margaret S Livingstone

Journal of Vision | ASSOC RESEARCH VISION OPHTHALMOLOGY INC | Published : 2006


The footsteps illusion (FI) demonstrates that an object's background can have a profound effect on the object's perceived speed. This illusion consists of a yellow bar and a blue bar that move over a black-and-white, striped background. Although the bars move at a constant rate, they appear to repeatedly accelerate and decelerate in antiphase with each other. Previously, this illusion has been explained in terms of the variations in contrast at the leading and trailing edges of the bars that occur as the bars traverse the striped background. Here, we show that this explanation is inadequate and instead propose that for each bar, the bar's leading edge, trailing edge, lateral edges, and the s..

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