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.
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