Jun 30, 2001

Visually induced reorientation illusions

Perception
Ian P Howard, G Hu

Abstract

It is known that rotation of a furnished room around the roll axis of erect subjects produces an illusion of 360 degrees self-rotation in many subjects. Exposure of erect subjects to stationary tilted visual frames or rooms produces only up to 20 degrees of illusory tilt. But, in studies using static tilted rooms, subjects remained erect and the body axis was not aligned with the room. We have revealed a new class of disorientation illusions that occur in many subjects when placed in a 90 degrees or 180 degrees tilted room containing polarised objects (familiar objects with tops and bottoms). For example, supine subjects looking up at a wall of the room feel upright in an upright room and their arms feel weightless when held out from the body. We call this the levitation illusion. We measured the incidence of 90 degrees or 180 degrees reorientation illusions in erect, supine, recumbent, and inverted subjects in a room tilted 90 degrees or 180 degrees. We report that reorientation illusions depend on the displacement of the visual scene rather than of the body. However, illusions are most likely to occur when the visual and body axes are congruent. When the axes are congruent, illusions are least likely to occur when subjects ar...Continue Reading

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Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

Prone Position
Tilt (brand of fungicide)
Trendelenburg Position (Finding)
Supine Position
Optical Illusions
Psychological Orientation

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