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A Thickness Illusion: Horizontal Is Perceived as Thicker than Vertical

1
Bureau Roffa, 3023 DL Rotterdam, The Netherlands
2
Department of Experimental and Applied Psychology, Vrije Universiteit, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3
Institute for Brain and Behaviour, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands
4
School of Psychology, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 November 2018 / Revised: 23 November 2018 / Accepted: 26 December 2018 / Published: 4 January 2019
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Abstract

We report two psychophysical experiments that investigate a visual illusion that is considered common knowledge among type designers, but has never been studied scientifically. Specifically, the thickness of a horizontal line is overestimated in relation to that of a vertical line. Experiment 1 confirmed the existence of the illusion. In Experiment 2, we replicated the effect and showed that the illusion is closely related to the vertical-horizontal illusion, in which the length of a vertical line is overestimated in comparison to a horizontal one. Both the overestimation of thickness and length is larger when the stimulus is surrounded by a horizontally elongated frame, as opposed to a vertically elongated frame. We discuss potential explanations for the thickness illusion and its relation to the vertical-horizontal illusion. View Full-Text
Keywords: illusion; vision; orientation; perception illusion; vision; orientation; perception
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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De Waard, J.M.; Van der Burg, E.; Olivers, C.N.L. A Thickness Illusion: Horizontal Is Perceived as Thicker than Vertical. Vision 2019, 3, 1.

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