Peripheral and central components in the formation of visual illusions

Joan S. Girgus, Stanley Coren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Visual illusions involving distortions of apparent length, size, and direction have been shown to be caused by both peripheral (physiological) and central (psychological) factors. Peripheral components include lateral inhibitory interactions or blurring due to optical aberrations. Central components include distortions from learned patterns of information sampling and cue utilization. With continued inspection, many illusions show diminished magnitudes. It is suggested that this phenomenon of illusion decrement may be used to ascertain the relative contributions of central and peripheral components. In addition, a discussion of the possible implications of illusion decrement for the understanding of the mechanisms involved in perceptual distortions is included.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-540
Number of pages8
JournalOptometry and Vision Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1973

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ophthalmology
  • Optometry


Dive into the research topics of 'Peripheral and central components in the formation of visual illusions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this