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Against better knowledge: The magical force of amodal volume completion.

Ekroll V, Sayim B, Wagemans J - Iperception (2013)

Bottom Line: In a popular magic routine known as "multiplying billiard balls", magicians fool their audience by using an empty shell that the audience believes to be a complete ball.Here, we present some observations suggesting that the spectators do not merely entertain the intellectual belief that the balls are all solid, but rather automatically and immediately perceive them as such.Our observations demonstrate the surprising potency and genuinely perceptual origin of amodal volume completion.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Tiensestraat 102 - box 3711, 3000 Leuven, Belgium; e-mail: vebjorn.ekroll@ppw.kuleuven.be.

ABSTRACT
In a popular magic routine known as "multiplying billiard balls", magicians fool their audience by using an empty shell that the audience believes to be a complete ball. Here, we present some observations suggesting that the spectators do not merely entertain the intellectual belief that the balls are all solid, but rather automatically and immediately perceive them as such. Our observations demonstrate the surprising potency and genuinely perceptual origin of amodal volume completion.

No MeSH data available.


Schematic illustration of the effect demonstrated in Figure 3 and Supplementary Movie 1. A semi-spherical shell is observed from an oblique angle, while lying on a table (a) or tilted towards the observer (b). In the former case, it is perceived as a semi-sphere (c). When it is tilted away from the table towards the observer, though, it seems to morph into a complete ball (d).
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Figure 4: Schematic illustration of the effect demonstrated in Figure 3 and Supplementary Movie 1. A semi-spherical shell is observed from an oblique angle, while lying on a table (a) or tilted towards the observer (b). In the former case, it is perceived as a semi-sphere (c). When it is tilted away from the table towards the observer, though, it seems to morph into a complete ball (d).

Mentions: A slight modification of this demonstration produces much the same result, but has the advantage that some notion of the effect can be conveyed by a photograph (Figure 3). As schematically illustrated in Figure 4, the semi-spherical shell lying on the table is now viewed from an oblique angle rather than directly from above, and rather than lifting it vertically up from the table, you lift it by tilting it towards your eye. Also here, a dynamic morphing into a full sphere can be observed (Supplementary Movie 1). The main important difference between these two manners of presentation is that now, the projection of the semi-spherical shell lying on the table onto the film plane of the camera (or the eye) is no longer compatible with a full sphere, which makes it clear that it is a semi-sphere also in the photographic reproduction.


Against better knowledge: The magical force of amodal volume completion.

Ekroll V, Sayim B, Wagemans J - Iperception (2013)

Schematic illustration of the effect demonstrated in Figure 3 and Supplementary Movie 1. A semi-spherical shell is observed from an oblique angle, while lying on a table (a) or tilted towards the observer (b). In the former case, it is perceived as a semi-sphere (c). When it is tilted away from the table towards the observer, though, it seems to morph into a complete ball (d).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4129385&req=5

Figure 4: Schematic illustration of the effect demonstrated in Figure 3 and Supplementary Movie 1. A semi-spherical shell is observed from an oblique angle, while lying on a table (a) or tilted towards the observer (b). In the former case, it is perceived as a semi-sphere (c). When it is tilted away from the table towards the observer, though, it seems to morph into a complete ball (d).
Mentions: A slight modification of this demonstration produces much the same result, but has the advantage that some notion of the effect can be conveyed by a photograph (Figure 3). As schematically illustrated in Figure 4, the semi-spherical shell lying on the table is now viewed from an oblique angle rather than directly from above, and rather than lifting it vertically up from the table, you lift it by tilting it towards your eye. Also here, a dynamic morphing into a full sphere can be observed (Supplementary Movie 1). The main important difference between these two manners of presentation is that now, the projection of the semi-spherical shell lying on the table onto the film plane of the camera (or the eye) is no longer compatible with a full sphere, which makes it clear that it is a semi-sphere also in the photographic reproduction.

Bottom Line: In a popular magic routine known as "multiplying billiard balls", magicians fool their audience by using an empty shell that the audience believes to be a complete ball.Here, we present some observations suggesting that the spectators do not merely entertain the intellectual belief that the balls are all solid, but rather automatically and immediately perceive them as such.Our observations demonstrate the surprising potency and genuinely perceptual origin of amodal volume completion.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Tiensestraat 102 - box 3711, 3000 Leuven, Belgium; e-mail: vebjorn.ekroll@ppw.kuleuven.be.

ABSTRACT
In a popular magic routine known as "multiplying billiard balls", magicians fool their audience by using an empty shell that the audience believes to be a complete ball. Here, we present some observations suggesting that the spectators do not merely entertain the intellectual belief that the balls are all solid, but rather automatically and immediately perceive them as such. Our observations demonstrate the surprising potency and genuinely perceptual origin of amodal volume completion.

No MeSH data available.