Cian C, Raphel C, Barraud P A, 2001, "The role of cognitive factors in the rod-and-frame effect" Perception 30(12) 1427 – 1438
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The role of cognitive factors in the rod-and-frame effect
Corinne Cian, Christian Raphel, Pierre Alain Barraud
Received 30 October 2000, in revised form 11 July 2001
Abstract. We compared the contribution and the effectiveness of modulating the orientation perception of two types of visual information: the visual frame and the visual polarity of objects. In experiment 1, we examined the effect of a square frame, a mouse, an elephant, and a map of France on the apparent vertical. In the upright position, despite the presence of tilted individual component features, the visual objects had no illusory visual tilt effects. When tilted, these objects had a substantial effect on the direction that appeared to be vertical. However, rod-setting errors were smaller in the inducing objects than when observed with the frame display. In the second experiment, the results of experiment 1 were replicated with a meaningful circular contour -- a porthole and a clock. The presence of the external circular contour did not abolish the illusion on the apparent vertical. Moreover, in experiment 3, a clock whose numbers were displaced and not tilted -- to avoid the possible tilt influence of visual cues -- was also able to deflect the subjective visual vertical. This finding suggests that through top - down processing shapes can act as a framework which serves as a reference influencing the perceived orientation of the inner objects.
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