Orientation processing mechanisms revealed by the plaid tilt illusions

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Smith S, Wenderoth P, & van der Zwan, R 2001, ‘Orientation processing mechanisms revealed by the plaid tilt illusions’, Vision Research, vol. 41, no.4, pp. 483-494.

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The tilt after-effect (TAE) and tilt illusion (TI) have revealed a great deal about the nature of orientation coding of 1-dimensional (1D) lines and gratings. Comparatively little research however has addressed the mechanisms responsible for encoding the orientation of 2-dimensional (2D) plaid stimuli. A multi-stage model of edge detection has recently been proposed [Georgeson, M. A. (1998) Image & Vision Computing, 16(6–7), 389–405] to account for the perceived structure of a plaid stimulus that incorporates extraction of the zero-crossings (ZCs) of the plaid. Data is presented showing that the ZCs of a plaid inducing stimulus can interact with vertical grating test stimulus to induce a standard tilt illusion. However, by considering the second-order structure of a plaid rather than ZCs, it was shown that the perceived orientation of the vertical test grating results from the combination of orientation illusions due to the first- and second-order components of an inducing plaid. The data suggest that the mechanisms encoding the orientation of second-order contours are similar to, and interact directly with, those that encode first-order contours.

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