Ways of Viewing Pictorial Plasticity

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Abstract

The plastic effect is historically used to denote various forms of stereopsis. The vivid impression of depth often associated with binocular stereopsis can also be achieved in other ways, for example, using a synopter. Accounts of this go back over a hundred years. These ways of viewing all aim to diminish sensorial evidence that the picture is physically flat. Although various viewing modes have been proposed in the literature, their effects have never been compared. In the current study, we compared three viewing modes: monocular blur, synoptic viewing, and free viewing (using a placebo synopter). By designing a physical embodiment that was indistinguishable for the three experimental conditions, we kept observers naive with respect to the differences between them; 197 observers participated in an experiment where the three viewing modes were compared by performing a rating task. Results indicate that synoptic viewing causes the largest plastic effect. Monocular blur scores lower than synoptic viewing but is still rated significantly higher than the baseline conditions. The results strengthen the idea that synoptic viewing is not due to a placebo effect. Furthermore, monocular blur has been verified for the first time as a way of experiencing the plastic effect, although the effect is smaller than synoptic viewing. We discuss the results with respect to the theoretical basis for the plastic effect. We show that current theories are not described with sufficient details to explain the differences we found.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Journali-Perception
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Depth perception
  • Pictorial space
  • Plastic effect
  • Stereopsis
  • Synopter
  • Three-dimensional vision

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