An empirical explanation of the cornsweet effect.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

A long-standing puzzle in vision is the assignment of illusory brightness values to visual territories based on the characteristics of their edges (the Craik-O'Brien-Cornsweet effect). Here we show that the perception of the equiluminant territories flanking the Cornsweet edge varies according to whether these regions are more likely to be similarly illuminated surfaces having the same material properties or unequally illuminated surfaces with different properties. Thus, if the likelihood is increased that these territories are surfaces with similar reflectance properties under the same illuminant, the Craik-O'Brien-Cornsweet effect is diminished; conversely, if the likelihood is increased that the adjoining territories are differently reflective surfaces receiving different amounts of illumination, the effect is enhanced. These findings indicate that the Craik-O'Brien-Cornsweet effect is determined by the relative probabilities of the possible sources of the luminance profiles in the stimulus.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Purves, D; Shimpi, A; Lotto, RB

Published Date

  • October 1999

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 19 / 19

Start / End Page

  • 8542 - 8551

PubMed ID

  • 10493754

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6783017

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1529-2401

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0270-6474

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1523/jneurosci.19-19-08542.1999


  • eng