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Iperception. 2012;3(3):182-7. doi: 10.1068/i0478sas. Epub 2012 Mar 26.

The ingenious Mr Hughes: Combining forced, flat, and reverse perspective all in one art piece to pit objects against surfaces.

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Laboratory of Vision Research, Center for Cognitive Science, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA; Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA; email:


The artist Patrick Hughes has ingeniously painted rows of stacked Brillo boxes in Forced into Reverse Perspective. The geometry is in reverse perspective, predicting only one type of illusory motion for each planar surface for moving viewers. He "broke" these surfaces into objects by painting the boxes in three types of perspective (planar, forced, and reverse). Our experiments confirmed that he succeeded in eliciting different types of illusory motion, including "differential motion" between boxes for most viewers. In some sense, this illustrates the superiority of secondary (painted) over primary (physical) cues.


3D shape; binocular disparity; forced perspective; motion parallax; reverse perspective

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