Oppelkundt Effectillusion


OPPEL'S EFFECT/ILLUSION. = Oppel-Kundt effect/illusion = filled-space illusion = filled-duration effect/illusion = Kundt's rules/ effects. These spatial and temporal effects/ illusions were first described in 1860-61 by the German physicist Johann Joseph Oppel (1815-1894) and later studied in 1863 by the German physicist August Adolph Kundt (1839-1894). In the area of spatial perception, the effect is called the filled-space effect/illusion, and refers to a misperception of magnitude that occurs when a given line, volume, or area - when occupied/filled by a number of distinct elements/units, such as dots or dashes - is perceived to be larger than if the line, volume, or area is empty. The original illusion, called the geometric-optical illusion by Oppel 1854, consisted of a number of parallel upright line segments continuous with an empty space of the same length whose end was marked by a single upright segment. In the area of temporal perception, the effect is called the filled-duration effect/illusion, and refers to a misperception of magnitude that occurs when a given period of time - if that time is occupied/ filled by may stimuli, events, materials, such as auditory tones or sounds - is perceived to be longer than if the temporal interval is relatively empty. In the case of Kundt's rules/effects, there are two misperceptions: (1) a given space or distance -when divided into parts - appears to be greater than that same space or distance when it is not divided; and (2) when one is asked to bisect/divide a given line - while using one eye only - there is a tendency to place the halfway mark closer to the nasal side of the open eye. For the description of various other effects/illusions, see Appendix A, especially the filled-duration illusion. See also FRAISSE'S THEORY OF TIME; TIME, THEORIES OF; VIERORDT'S LAW OF TIME ESTIMATIONS.

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