Multiplicative and additive Adelson's snake illusions

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1 Citation (SciVal)


Two different versions of Adelson's snake lightness illusion are quantitatively investigated. In one experiment an additive version of the illusion is investigated by varying the additive component of the atmosphere transfer function (ATF) introduced by Adelson [2000, in The New Cognitive Neuroscience Ed. M Gazzaniga (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press) pp 339-351]. In the other, a multiplicative version of the illusion is examined by varying the multiplicative component of the ATE In both experiments four observers matched the targets' lightness of the snake patterns with Munsell samples. Increasing the additive or the multiplicative component elicited an approximately equal increase in the magnitude of the lightness illusion. The results show that both components, in the absence of other kinds of information, can be used as heuristics by our visual system to anchor luminance of the object when converting it into lightness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1621-36
Number of pages16
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Contrast Sensitivity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological
  • Optical Illusions
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Psychophysics


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