Date of Award

8-2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Psychology

Program

Psychology - General

First Advisor/Chairperson

Mounia Ziat

Second Advisor

Harry Whitaker

Third Advisor

Mitchell Klett

Abstract

The Ebbinghaus Illusion (also known as Titchener's circles) is a classic visual illusion. The illusion consists of two inner circles of the same size, with one circle surrounded by a group of larger circles, and the other circle surrounded by a group of smaller circles. Due to the context of the surrounding circles, individuals perceive the inner circle surrounded by the smaller outer circles to be larger, when in fact, both inner circles are the same size. This thesis presents the first evidence of the existence of the Ebbinghaus illusion in the tactile modality. Participants underwent various tactile-tactile and tactile-visual conditions to actively explore Ebbinghaus illusion sets. Our results show that participants are more likely to be deceived when the illusory stimulus (the Ebbinghaus set) is present compared to when the control stimulus (no illusion) is present in a tactile perception condition. Further, our results demonstrate that in a visual-tactile condition, the perceptual system is not deceived, even though the illusion deceives participants in both touch and vision alone. These results contribute to the two-stream hypothesis perception-action debate, which states that the pathways for action and perception are separated in the visual system.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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