Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 236, Issue 4, pp 933–944 | Cite as

The Ebbinghaus illusion with small inducers appears larger on the right side

  • Ayako Saneyoshi
Research Article


The effects of left and right alignment on the Ebbinghaus illusion were investigated in three experiments. In Experiment 1, the Ebbinghaus illusion was presented on the left or right side, and the points of subjective equality (PSE) were measured. Only the central disk of the figure with small inducers was perceived larger when it was positioned on the right side rather than on the left. In Experiments 2 and 3, left, right, and central placement were used to determine if the results of Experiment 1 were caused by a decrease of the illusion on the left side or an increase of the illusion on the right side. There was no difference in the illusion effect between the left and the center; however, the illusion effect increased when the figure was presented on the right side. These results suggest that a hemispheric asymmetry for global and local spatial attention influences the laterality of the Ebbinghaus illusion.


Ebbinghaus illusion Laterality Global/local Spatial attention 



This study was supported by a JSPS KAKENHI Grant (number 25780445) to AS. I would like to thank the editor and three referees who have devoted time to reading and commenting on this paper. Furthermore, I would like to thank C. Michimata, B. Laeng, and M. Okubo for their helpful comments on this study. I am also grateful to R. Hosoya, K. Mothohashi, and K. Seko for their help with the experiments. I thank CDS group for their support for writing the paper.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. All experimental procedures were approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Teikyo University Psychology Department (no. 227).

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTeikyo UniversityHachiojiJapan

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