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Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

January 1998, Vol. 10, No. 1, Pages 122-136
(doi: 10.1162/089892998563824)
© 1998 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Effect of Pictorial Illusion on Prehension and Perception
Article PDF (189.4 KB)

The present study examined the effect of a size-contrast illusion (Ebbinghaus or Titchener Circles Illusion) on visual perception and the visual control of grasping movements. Seventeen right-handed participants picked up and, on other trials, estimated the size of fipoker-chipfl disks, which functioned as the target circles in a three-dimensional version of the illusion. In the estimation condition, subjects indicated how big they thought the target was by separating their thumb and forefinger to match the target's size. After initial viewing, no visual feedback from the hand or the target was available. Scaling of grip aperture was found to be strongly correlated with the physical size of the disks, while manual estimations of disk size were biased in the direction of the illusion. Evidently, grip aperture is calibrated to the true size of an object, even when perception of object size is distorted by a pictorial illusion, a result that is consistent with recent suggestions that visually guided prehension and visual perception are mediated by separate visual pathways.