The grand illusion and petit illusions: interactions of perception and sensory coding

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The Grand Illusion, the experience of a rich phenomenal visual world supported by a poor internal representation of that world, is echoed by petit illusions of the same sort. We can be aware of several aspects of an object or pattern, even when they are inconsistent with one another, because different neurological mechanisms code the various aspects separately. They are bound not by an internal linkage, but by the structure of the world itself. Illusions exploit this principle by introducing inconsistencies into normally consistent patterns of stimulation.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Dept. of Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064. Email:

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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