Catching Patches

Rob Van Lier & Mark Vergeer

Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Catching Patches

We present an illusion based on Hermann-grid like gratings in which the contours are quite randomly distorted. These distortions guarantee a severe reduction or complete disappearance of the visibility of the patches. Starting with these gratings we show that the patches at the crossings return when luminance edges are introduced and extended at the intersections. The ‘returned’ patches have the same relative lightness properties as they would have in a regular Herman grid (dark patches when the crossing bands are relatively light, and light patches when the crossing bands are relatively dark). In addition, the polarity of the perceived lightness difference does not depend on the lightness of the edges (i.e., whether they are dark or light). A remarkable effect here is that at the crossings the whole area between the edges is perceived to have a different lightness, irrespective of the shape of that area (i.e., whether the edges bend inward or outward etc.).

See Power Point presentation with different versions of the illusion

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