In 2006 the "Freezing Rotation Illusion won the first prize in the "Best Visual Illusion of the Year Contest". Here an interactive application is presented where the user has a choice of different stimuli. He can change the size and the opacity and all relevant motion parameters of the center and the surround stimuli. A continuously rotating central texture (center) is presented together with a patterned surround oscillating back-and-forth. Generally, rotation of the surround induces Misperceptions of the center’s angular velocity, which are known as “induced rotational motion”: a physically rotating center is perceived as turning faster, when counter-rotating with its surround, and turning slower when co-rotating. However during co-rotation additional velocity misperceptions are observed:
(1) A percept of motionless center (“freezing rotation illusion”) arises when the average angular velocity of the surround is fixed to a much higher value than that of the center, and the appropriate oscillation frequency is set.
(2) A percept of the center sticking to its surround (“rotational motion capture”) arises when the average angular velocity of the surround is lower than the center velocity, but higher than a given fraction of it.
Lorincz and MR. Duersteler "The Freezing Rotation Illusion" in Oxford Companion of Visual Illusions, eds. A. Shapiro and D. Todorovic (New York, NY: Oxford University Press)
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