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    Inversion produces opposite size illusions for faces and bodies

    Walsh, Eamonn and Vormberg, Alexandra and Hannaford, J. and Longo, Matthew R. (2018) Inversion produces opposite size illusions for faces and bodies. Acta Psychologica 191 , pp. 15-24. ISSN 0001-6918.

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    Faces are complex, multidimensional, and meaningful visual stimuli. Recently, Araragi and colleagues (Araragi, Aotani, & Kitaoka, 2012) demonstrated an intriguing face size illusion whereby an inverted face is perceived as larger than a physically identical upright face. Like the face, the human body is a highly familiar and important stimulus in our lives. Here, we investigated the specificity of the size underestimation of upright faces illusion, testing whether similar effects also hold for bodies, hands, and everyday objects. Experiments 1a and 1b replicated the face-size illusion. No size illusion was observed for hands or objects. Unexpectedly, a reverse size illusion was observed for bodies, so that upright bodies were perceived as larger than their inverted counterparts. Experiment 2 showed that the face and reverse body size illusions were maintained even when the photographic contrast polarity of the stimuli was reversed, indicating that the visual system driving the illusions relies on geometric featural information rather than image contrast. Our findings show that size illusions caused by inversion show a high level of category specificity, with opposite illusions for faces and bodies.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Matthew Longo
    Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2018 10:55
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:43


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