- The term geometric-optical illusion is indebted to the Greek words geometria (land surveying) and opsis (seeing). It was introduced in or shortlybefore 1854 by the German physicist Johann Joseph Oppel (1815-1894) to denote a *visual illusion occurring specifically in association with a geometric structure or line drawing. A classic example of a geometric-optical illusion is the * Oppel-Kundt illusion, in which a distance divided by graduated lines appears to be longer than a similar, but undivided distance. Oppel's attention was drawn to this type of illusion after he noticed certain regularly recurring flaws in his students' drawings. Some other classic examples of the geometric-optical illusion are the * Müller-Lyer illusion, the * Poggendorff illusion, and the * Zöllner illusion. Many of these phenomena had been noticed - and employed intentionally - by philosophers, artists, and architects since ancient times, but it is Oppel who is commonly credited with having initiated the scientific study of these phenomena. Although the adjective optical may seem to suggest an involvement of the optics of the eye, geometric-optical illusions are commonly classified as * cognitive illusions (i.e. illusions arising as a consequence of the workings ofhigher-order cognitive processes).ReferencesOppel, J.J. (1854/1855). Ueber geometrischoptische Täuschungen. (Zweite Nachlese.) In: Jahres-Bericht des physikalischen Vereins zu Frankfurt am Main, 37-47.Oppel, J. (1856). Ueber geometrisch-optische Täuschungen. Poggendorffs Annalen der Physik und Chemie, 99, 466.Rutten, F.J.Th. (1929). Psychologie der waarnem-ing. Een studie over gezichtsbedrog. Thesis, University of Utrecht.Seckel, A. (2005). Super visions: Geometric optical illusions. New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Co.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.
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optical illusion — The term optical illusion is used in a narrow and a broad sense. In the narrow sense, it denotes an illusion attributable to the optics of the eye. In the broad sense, it is used as an equivalent of the term visual illusion, denoting any… … Dictionary of Hallucinations
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Oppel-Kundt illusion — Also known as Oppel illusion, filled space illusion, and filled/unfilled space illusion. The eponym Oppel Kundt illusion refers to the German physicists Johann Joseph Oppel (1815 1894) and August Adolph Eduard Eberhard Kundt (1839 1894), who… … Dictionary of Hallucinations
top hat illusion — Also known as Lincoln s top hat illusion and Wundt Fick illusion. All three terms refer to a size optical illusion or a geometric optical illusion involving the top hat or stove pipe hat worn on certain photographs by US President Abraham… … Dictionary of Hallucinations
Poggendorff illusion — The eponym Poggendorff illusion refers to Johann Christian Poggendorff (1796 1877), a German physicist who described the concomitant phenomenon in 1860, inspired by a drawing sent to him by the German astrophysicist Johann Karl Friedrich… … Dictionary of Hallucinations
Müller-Lyer illusion — Also known as arrowhead illusion. The eponym Müller Lyer illusion refers to the German sociologist Franz Carl Müller Lyer (1857 1916), who described the concomitant phenomenon in or shortly before 1889. This phenomenon consists of a *… … Dictionary of Hallucinations
hat illusion — Also referred to as hat wearing illusion. Both terms are used to denote a tactile hallucination or illusion of a band exerting pressure around the head. It would seem that the term was introduced in 1962 by the American psychologists Harold L … Dictionary of Hallucinations
Zöllner illusion — The eponym Zöllner illusion refers to the German astrophysicist Johann Karl Friedrich Zöllner (1834 1882). It is used to denote a * geometric optical illusion in which parallel lines seem to diverge when one of the lines is intersected by… … Dictionary of Hallucinations