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Yang's eye illusion


Schwaninger,  A
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Yang, J., & Schwaninger, A. (2007). Yang's eye illusion. Poster presented at 30th European Conference on Visual Perception, Arezzo, Italy.

A new visual illusion in face perception is demonstrated. Faces were mirrored and combined so that the distance between the resulting four irises were equal. In experiment 1, Caucasian and Asian face stimuli were used. Dot stimuli were created by deleting all face areas except the irises. Participants from two different ethnic groups (Swiss and Taiwanese) were asked to judge whether the distance between the middle two irises is larger, shorter, or equal to the distance between the left two or right two irises. Participants perceived the distance between the middle two irises as shorter than the other distances regardless of orientation and participant race. The illusion was found in face stimuli but not in dot stimuli. Interestingly, the illusion magnitude was larger for Asian than for Caucasian faces. In experiment 2, the face stimuli were replaced by line drawings of the eyes and irises. Similar results were obtained suggesting that the illusion is caused only by the shape of the eyes, and is independent of facial context.