Factors influencing the apparent rotation of a line on radially transformed backgrounds.

N. J. Wade*, M. T. Swanston, H. Ono, P. M. Wenderoth

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    The expansion and contraction of a display consisting of a stationary grating with a superimposed inclined line leads to the apparent rotation of the line. This phenomenon has been investigated in six experiments with the use of a television system with a motorized zoom lens to effect such transformations. The maximum apparent line rotation occurs with the line at 45 degrees to the grating. In experiment 1 a greater magnitude of apparent rotation was found with a vertical grating and an oblique line than vice versa. Zoom-out (contraction) also produced greater rotation than zoom-in (expansion). The orientation anisotropy was not dependent upon the orientation of the display to the retinal meridian (experiment 2): the extent of apparent line rotation was approximately the same with a vertical grating when the head was upright or tilted so that the retinal meridian was at 45 degrees. At a constant rate of zooming, a zoom duration of 2 s produced a larger apparent line rotation than one of 1 s, but it was not influenced by the initial angular subtense of the superimposed line (experiment 3). Neither the spatial frequency of the grating nor the width of the line affected the apparent rotation (experiments 4, 5, and 6). Experiment 5 compared the apparent rotation when the display was zoomed (i) with a fixed surround and (ii) with a surround that also expanded during zooming. The magnitude of rotation in the latter condition was reduced to about 25% of that with a fixed surround. The results are discussed in terms of the discrepancy between the perceived transformations of the background grating and the superimposed line.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)313-322
    Number of pages10
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1983

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