Scintillating Grid

Grid Illusions

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If you look around in the neighbouring figure you will notice the appearance and disappearance of black dots at the crossings.

Even though this figure looks similar to the Hermann-Grid, it is markedly more vivid. Furthermore, the effect is probably caused by different mechanisms than those causing the Hermann-Grid effect.

  • 1993: First demonstrated by JR Bergen at the ARVO, in a weaker variant
  • 1994: Re-discovered by Bernd Lingelbach’s wife Elke
  • 1995: Demonstrated at the Tübingen ECVP meeting (Schrauf M, Lingelbach B, Lingelbach E & Wist ER. The Hermann grid and the scintillation effect. Perception 24: suppl, 88–89)
  • 1997: Schrauf M, Lingelbach B & Wist E. The scintillating grid illusion. Vision Res 37:1033–1038
  • 2001: Invoked to explain Florida’s election problems (“Count the black dots, recount to confirm…” ;-)
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Question: Do the streets or the squares influence the colour of the apparent disks?

As you notice in the neighbouring figure, red streets leave the disks black. But if the squares are red (move mouse over figure), the disks acquire a reddish tint...

Sources

Schrauf M, Lingelbach B, Lingelbach E & Wist ER (1995) The Hermann grid and the scintillation effect. Perception 24: suppl, 88–89

Schrauf M, Lingelbach B & Wist (1997) The scintillating grid illusion. Vision Res 37:1033–1038

VanRullen R, Dong T (2003) Attention and scintillation. Vision Res 43:2191–2196


Advice by Bernd Lingelbach gratefully acknowledged.   

Created: 2004-Oct-31


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Last update 2014-06-15 by Michael Bach (G+)