Biological Cybernetics

, Volume 98, Issue 1, pp 75–85 | Cite as

Neural model of disinhibitory interactions in the modified Poggendorff illusion

Original Paper


Visual illusions can be strengthened or weakened with the addition of extra visual elements. For example, in the Poggendorff illusion, with an additional bar added, the illusory skew in the perceived angle can be enlarged or reduced. In this paper, we show that a nontrivial interaction between lateral inhibitory processes in the early visual system (i.e., disinhibition) can explain such an enhancement or degradation of the illusory effect. The computational model we derived successfully predicted the perceived angle in the Poggendorff illusion task that was modified to include an extra thick bar. The concept of disinhibition employed in the model is general enough that we expect it can be further extended to account for other classes of geometric illusions.


Lateral inhibition Disinhibition Visual cortex Poggendorff illusion 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Seismic Micro-Technology Inc.HoustonUSA

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