Does a monocularly presented size-contrast illusion influence grip aperture? Academic Article uri icon


  • The present study tested the idea that if subjects rely more on scene-based pictorial cues when binocular cues are not available, then both their perceptual judgements and their grasp might be influenced by pictorial illusions such as the Ebbinghaus (Titchener) Circles Illusion under monocular viewing conditions. Under binocular viewing conditions, subjects were always able to scale their grip accurately to the true size of the target disc and were unaffected by the illusion. Under monocular viewing, however, subjects appeared to be influenced by the illusion. Thus, when confronted with physically different target discs displayed on backgrounds that made them appear equivalent in size, subjects treated the two discs as equivalent--even when picking them up. These results, combined with earlier work from our laboratory suggests that binocular information plays a critical role in normal human prehension but when this information is not available the visuomotor system is able to "fall back" on the remaining monocular cues, which can cause the visuomotor system to be more susceptible to pictorial illusions.


publication date

  • June 1998