Distortions of perceived length in the frontoparallel plane: Tests of perspective theories

Uta Wolfe, Laurence T. Maloney, Mimi Tam

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The perceived length of a line segment in a frontoparallel plane is sometimes affected by the presence of other line segments in the visual field. Perspective theories attribute such interactions to sizeconstancy scaling: The configuration of line segments present in the visual field includes depth cues that trigger size scaling of each line segment. In three experiments, we test this claim for a range of simple configurations composed of two line segments joined at a point. These configurations include the inverted T configuration of the bisection illusion, as well as the L configuration of the horizontal-vertical illusion. We conclude that the available depth cues, even when supplemented by known biases in perspective interpretations, do not account for observed distortions in judgments of relative length.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)967-979
Number of pages13
JournalPerception and Psychophysics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems
  • General Psychology


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