[visionlist] immunity from illusions (particularly visual illusions)

Qasim Zaidi qz at sunyopt.edu
Sun Feb 12 11:53:50 -05 2017

There are individual differences, but they have not been much studied
until the recent push by Jeremy Willmer at VSS.

I had a brilliant undergraduate at Columbia, who went on to be a star grad
student at MIT, has done start-ups, been CTO of multiple companies, won an
Emmy, etc etc, and he had no simultaneous brightness or color induction,
as measured by objective methods (nulling on a 2AFC adaptive staircase). 
He was also a meticulous observer in motion experiments, where he saw all
kinds of effects.

You may want to see what else is different about these students.  I
suspect that they will be normal on low level detection and discrimination
experiments, but that may still be worth checking.


Qasim Zaidi PhD
SUNY Distinguished Professor 

Graduate Center for Vision Research, 
State University of New York College of Optometry,
33 West 42nd St, New York, NY  10036.
Office: 212-938-5542; Lab: 212-938-5756; Fax: 212-938-5537
E-mail: qz at sunyopt.edu

"Dr. Katherine Moore" <moorek at arcadia.edu> writes:
>Dear vision experts, 
>I was hoping some of you could help me out with something that made me
>curious all of last semester. Last semester was about the fifth time I've
>taught Sensation & Perception. Even though my classes are small (less
>than 25 students), each time I teach this course I have a student or two
>who is unusual in some sensory way -- just one working eye, synesthesia,
>no sense of smell, blind, prosopagnosia, etc. 
>This past semester I had two students who did not experience illusions
>(out of just 10 students!) One of them truly did not experience any of
>the illusions. Another did not experience the vast majority of them. We
>mostly did visual illusions, but among the few auditory illusions we did,
>these students didn't experience them either. I have no reason to think
>the students were lying about it--they are very sincere people. And they
>both had trouble with an assignment that required students to view some
>new illusions, describe what they saw and what was really happening, and
>explain the illusion. These two students didn't see what the rest of the
>class saw, and only saw "what was really happening."
>The illusions spanned the course, which is to say they touched upon many
>different causes. For example, the Hermann grid variations, including the
>"disappearing dots" one that went viral this summer/fall were affected,
>as well as the color constancy and size constancy ones like the
>checkershadow illusion, Ames room, etc. 
>What do you all know about this, like what the cause could be for this
>immunity from illusions of many kinds, or individual variation in the
>experience of illusions? 
>Katherine S Moore
>Assistant Professor of Psychology
>Arcadia University
>450 S. Easton Rd
>Glenside, PA 19038
>Office: Boyer Hall room 128
>Phone: (215) 517-2429
>[ https://sites.google.com/a/arcadia.edu/amclab/

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