Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 292–297

Successor states in a four-state ambiguous figure

Brief Reports

DOI: 10.3758/BF03196284

Cite this article as:
Burton, G. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review (2002) 9: 292. doi:10.3758/BF03196284


The satiation theory of ambiguous figures holds that interpretation shifts are caused by fatigue of neural arrangements responsible for the prevailing interpretation. A four-state multistable figure is introduced, in which two depicted cubes can be seen as connected or unconnected and as facing up or facing down. Observers viewed the figure for 4 min. When descriptive labels were used for the interpretations, shifts to interpretations that shared neither dimension were significantlymore frequent than shifts that conserved orientation or connection/disconnection. However, all types of transitions were equally likely when arbitrary letter codes were used, implying that the putatively fatigued assemblies can be dedicated to whole figures or to their characteristics,depending on observer expectations.

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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Seton Hall UniversitySouth Orange

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