Illusory three-dimensional rotation of horizontal lines: A new motion-depth illusion

Hiroyuki Ito, Eriko Kawabata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


A new motion-depth illusion is reported. When a curved aperture translates vertically and stationary horizontal lines can be seen through it, the line lengths on the retina change continuously because of the occlusion. Instead of seeing the aperture translate, subjects sometimes see the lines rotate in depth around a vertical axis. This is a rare kind of illusion: an ambiguous motion which can be seen as either stationary in two dimensions or rotating in three dimensions. Three-dimensional rotation was more often observed when the luminance difference between the horizontal lines and the background was larger than that between the aperture and the background. This illusion demonstrates that motion detection and the structure-from-motion process correlate with figure - ground segregation, depth stratification, and figural-completion processes based on luminance contrast.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1203-1207
Number of pages5
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence


Dive into the research topics of 'Illusory three-dimensional rotation of horizontal lines: A new motion-depth illusion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this