Programming Visual Illusions for Everyone

Front Cover
Springer, Aug 8, 2017 - Technology & Engineering - 221 pages

If you find visual illusions fascinating Programming Visual Illusions for Everyone is a book for you. It has some background, some history and some theories about visual illusions, and it describes in some detail twelve illusions. Some are about surfaces, some are about apparent size of objects, some are about colour and some involve movement. This is only one aspect of the book. The other is to show you how you can create these effects on any computer.

The book includes a brief introduction to a powerful programming language called Python. No previous experience with programming is necessary. There is also an introduction to a package called PsychoPy that makes it easy to draw on a computer screen. It is perfectly ok if you have never heard the names Python or PsychoPy before. Python is a modern and easy-to-read language, and PsychoPy takes care of all the graphical aspects of drawing on a screen and also interacting with a computer. By the way, both Python and PsychoPy are absolutely free.

Is this a book about illusions or about programming? It is both!

 

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Contents

1 Illusions Are Fun
1
2 Programming Is Fun
18
3 PsychoPy Is Fun
37
4 Kanizsa Square
49
5 Ponzo Illusion
63
6 Delboeuf Illusion
73
7 Ebbinghaus Illusion
80
8 Münsterberg and Café Wall Illusions
89
12 Breathing Square Illusion
135
13 Stepping Feet Illusion
145
14 Lilac Chaser Illusion
153
15 Hierarchical Motion Organisation
163
Files Irregular Polygons and Images
177
Visual Perception Glossary
190
Programming Glossary
195
Bibliography
199

9 Brightness Contrast and White Illusion
99
10 Neon Colour Spreading
110
11 Honeycomb Illusion
123

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About the author (2017)

I studied experimental psychology at the University of Padova, Italy, graduating in 1989. My supervisor was Giovanni Vicario. The Department was an amazing place to study, full of activity but also with a sense of its long history. After my degree I went to the University of Virginia, USA, for an MA and PhD. There I worked with Dennis Proffitt and Michael Kubovy. In 1996, after my PhD, I took on a lectureship in England at Staffordshire University. In 1999 I moved to the University of Liverpool where I set up the Visual Perception Lab.

I have worked on many aspects of visual perception. I have studied perception of shape, including symmetry, contour curvature and part structure. Starting from work on symmetry I have also explored the link between perception and emotion, or more specifically what visual properties drive visual preference. At a more cognitive level I have studied how people think about and interact with mirrors (you can look up the Venus effect on Wikipedia). More recently, and mainly by chance, I have also discovered and named the Honeycomb illusion, which is discussed in detail in Chapter 11.