Understanding Misperceived Size through Assimilation in a Novel Illusion: The Binding Ring
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How do we perceive the size of objects? This research attempts answer a small part of that question by describing and quantifying the binding ring illusion, a novel (and previously uncharacterized) illusion of misperceived size. Following the establishment of the binding ring as a legitimate size illusion, experiments were performed in an attempt to identify what visual processing stream mechanisms were responsible for the illusion and further, to obtain any information as to the relative whereabouts of said mechanism(s) in the visual processing stream. These experiments were performed because many processing mechanisms of the visual stream (and their relative location therein), especially those in the relatively ‘high’ portion of the visual stream, are very poorly understood. The results of the study gave three primary results: first, the binding ring illusion occurs primarily through a process of assimilation; second, this assimilation process is heavily influenced by a process of perceptual unification; and third, the mechanisms of assimilation and unification are likely located relatively high in the visual processing stream, very likely occurring after spatial frequency integration and either after or during the creation of global shape representations.