The Bar-Cross-Ellipse Illusion

2006 Third prize
Gideon Caplovitz & Peter Tse

Dartmouth College, USA

Here we present a new multistable stimulus generated by continuously rotating an ellipse behind four fixed occluders. Observers can perceive one of four percepts: (1) a continuously morphing cross, (2) two independent perpendicular bars oscillating in depth, (3) a rigidly rotating ellipse observed behind the occluders, or (4) a fixed cross observed through a continuously rotating, elliptical aperture.

The bar – cross – ellipse illusion: Alternating percepts of rigid and nonrigid motion based on contour ownership and trackable feature assignment Gideon P. Caplovitz & Peter U. Tse Perception. 2006. 35:993-7

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