Visual distortions induced by simple and complex shapes

Galina Goren, James H. Elder

Last modified: 2014-05-16


Motivated by theories of shape representation based on deformation processes, we have recently discovered that complex natural contours induce perceptual distortions in the surrounding visual space (Goren & Elder VSS2013). Here, we assess whether similar distortions are induced by simpler (linear and circular) geometric figures. We find that visual space is perceptually compressed near both simple and complex contours. Interestingly, the magnitude of this compression is greatest near complex parts of natural shapes, less for circular shapes and even less for linear shapes. We discuss these results in terms of recent theories of perceptual shape representation.

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