The Poggendorff illusion explained by natural scene geometry.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

One of the most intriguing of the many discrepancies between perceived spatial relationships and the physical structure of visual stimuli is the Poggendorff illusion, when an obliquely oriented line that is interrupted no longer appears collinear. Although many different theories have been proposed to explain this effect, there has been no consensus about its cause. Here, we use a database of range images (i.e., images that include the distance from the image plane of every pixel in the scene) to show that the probability distribution of the possible locations of line segments across an interval in natural environments can fully account for all of the behavior of this otherwise puzzling phenomenon.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Howe, CQ; Yang, Z; Purves, D

Published Date

  • May 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 102 / 21

Start / End Page

  • 7707 - 7712

PubMed ID

  • 15888555

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC1093311

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1091-6490

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0027-8424

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.0502893102


  • eng