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Psychon Bull Rev. 2006 Feb;13(1):160-5.

Observer pitch and roll influence: the rod and frame illusion.

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Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada.


Observers misperceive the orientation of a vertical rod when it is viewed in the context of a tilted frame (the rod and frame illusion, or RFI). The pitch and roll of the surrounding surfaces have independent influences on this illusion (Nelson and Prinzmetal, 2003). Experiment 1 measured the RFI when the pitch and roll of the floor that supported the observer was varied, and the observer was either seated in a chair or standing upright. There were additive influences of pitch and roll on the RFI of seated but not standing observers. Experiments 2 and 3 decoupled body roll and head roll in order to isolate the vestibular and proprioceptive contributions to these effects. The results are interpreted in support of a hierarchy of influence on the RFI: Visual input is given top priority, followed by vestibular input, and then proprioceptive input.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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