Shape-assimilation effect: Retrospective distortion of visual shapes

Fuminori Ono*, Katsumi Watanabe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


A brief visual stimulus distorts the perceived shape of a subsequent visual stimulus as being dissimilar to the shape of a previous stimulus (shape-contrast effect). In this study, we presented a visual stimulus after a to-be-estimated target stimulus and found that the perceived shape of the target stimulus appeared to be similar to the shape of the following stimulus (shape-assimilation effect). The assimilation effect occurred even when the following stimulus was presented at positions different from that of the target stimulus, indicating that the shape-assimilation effect is a nonretinotopic distortion. The results suggest that the preceding and succeeding stimuli differentially modulate the perceived shape of a briefly presented stimulus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-10
Number of pages6
JournalAttention, Perception, and Psychophysics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Shape perception
  • Shape-assimilation effect
  • Shape-contrast effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Linguistics and Language


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