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Perception. 2001;30(9):1031-46.

Explaining lightness illusions.

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Dipartimento di Psicologia Generale, Universit√° di Padova, Padua, Italy.

Erratum in

  • Perception 2002;31(4):516.


Grey looks darker when set against white than when set against black. In some complex figures this illusion becomes startling, and can be shown to depend on the perceptual organisation of regions within the image. The most widely accepted explanations of such effects are based on the analysis of the junctions formed where the boundaries of nearby regions meet. Even theories where junctions are not the subject of special concern underline their importance as grouping cues. In this paper I present several new families of figures that challenge both views, and conclude that junctions do not play any crucial role in lightness estimation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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