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Vision Research 39 (1999) 14551463 Spatial distortions in rotating radial figures

Summary: Vision Research 39 (1999) 1455­1463
Spatial distortions in rotating radial figures
Stuart Anstis a
, Frank Stu¨rzel b
, Lothar Spillmann b,
Department of Psychology, Uni6ersity of California at San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dri6e, La Jolla, CA 92093-0109, USA
Institute of Biophysics and Radiation Biology, Brain Research Unit, Uni6ersity of Freiburg, Hansastrasse 9, 79104, Freiburg, Germany
Received 26 March 1998; received in revised form 30 June 1998
A white sector on a black rotating disk appears spatially compressed. We found that apparent shrinkage: (1) for sectors ranging
from 15 to 150° and rotating at 1.25 rps varied in an inverted U-shaped manner from 3 to 16° and back to 11° (corresponding
to 20, 16, and 7.5%, respectively); (2) increased with speed of rotation producing maximal compressions of between 7 and 30° for
velocities ranging from 0.8 to 2 rps; and (3) affected the leading and the trailing portions of the rotating sector equally, while
allowing for apparent expansion of the middle region. Consistent with these findings we found that (4) two black lines 20 mm
apart across the center of the rotating disk and extending outward towards the edge appeared to converge when they were actually
parallel and were seen as parallel when their end points were physically diverged by 6°. Our findings suggest a foreshortening
process which ensures that the shapes of moving stimuli are perceived approximately correctly, irrespective of whether they are


Source: Anstis, Stuart - Department of Psychology, University of California at San Diego


Collections: Biology and Medicine