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Open Access research that challenges the mind...

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How perception impacts on drawings

Mitchell, P. and Ropar, D. and Ackroyd, K. and Rajendran, G. (2005) How perception impacts on drawings. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 31 (5). pp. 996-1003. ISSN 0096-1523

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In 3 experiments the authors investigate how errors in perception produce errors in drawings. In Experiment 1, when Shepard stimuli were shown as a pair of tables, participants made severe errors in trying to adjust 1 part of the stimulus to match the other. When the table legs were removed, revealing a pair of parallelograms with minimal perspective cues, the illusion was weaker. The authors predicted that participants would err when drawing the table but not the parallelogram stimuli. The results of Experiment 2 support the prediction and establish a direct link between degree of perceptual distortion of the table stimuli and the severity of error in drawing. When drawing only the right-hand part of the figure, participants also erred to a greater degree in drawing the table than the parallelogram (Experiment 3). Collectively, the results suggest that perceptual distortion is linked with errors in drawing the table stimuli.