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Iperception. 2015 Sep 30;6(5):2041669515604060. doi: 10.1177/2041669515604060. eCollection 2015.

The Star Wars Scroll Illusion.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Collaborative for Applied Perceptual Research & Innovation (CAPRI), American University, Washington, D.C., USA.


The Star Wars Scroll Illusion is a dynamic version of the Leaning Tower Illusion. When two copies of a Star-Wars-like scrolling text are placed side by side (with separate vanishing points), the two scrolls appear to head in different directions even though they are physically parallel in the picture plane. Variations of the illusion are shown with one vanishing point, as well as from an inverted perspective where the scrolls appear to originate in the distance. The demos highlight the conflict between the physical lines in the picture plane and perspective interpretation: With two perspective points, the scrolling texts are parallel to each other in the picture plane but not in perspective interpretation; with one perspective point, the texts are not parallel to each other in the picture plane but are parallel to each other in perspective interpretation. The size of the effect is linearly related to the angle of rotation of the scrolls into the third dimension; the Scroll Illusion is stronger than the Leaning Tower Illusion for rotation angles between 35° and 90°. There is no effect of motion per se on the strength of the illusion.


3D perception; Alderaan; Leaning Tower Illusion; Star Wars; illusion; perspective

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