Evidence for the correcting-mechanism explanation of the Kanizsa amodal shrinkage

Hiroyuki Mitsudo, Sachio Nakamizo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


An object phenomenally shrinks in its horizontal dimension when shown on a 2-D plane as if the central portion of the object were partially occluded by another vertical one in 3-D space (the Kanizsa amodal shrinkage). We examined the predictions of the correcting-mechanism hypothesis proposed by Ohtsuka and Ono (2002, Proceedings of SPIE 4864 167-174), which states that an inappropriate operation of the mechanism that corrects a phenomenal increase in monocularly visible areas accompanied by a stereoscopic occluder gives rise to the illusion. In this study we measured the perceived width (or height in experiment 3) of a square seen behind a rectangle, while controlling other factors which potentially influence the illusion, such as the division of space or depth stratification. The results of five experiments showed that (a) the perceived width was not influenced when the occluder had a relatively large binocular disparity, but was underestimated when the occluder did not have disparity, and (b) the shrinkage diminished when the foreground rectangle was transparent, was horizontally oriented, or contained no pictorial occlusion cues. These results support the hypothesis that the correcting mechanism, triggered by pictorial occlusion cues, contributes to the Kanizsa shrinkage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-303
Number of pages15
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence


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