The Devil’s Torpedo Tubes: a new Impossible Object considered in relation to the IO model of human vision

  • Roddy Cowie
  • Rex Mitchell
  • Tony Reinhardt-Rutland
Part of the Workshops in Computing book series (WORKSHOPS COMP.)


IO is a computer model designed to capture several counterintuitive features of human vision. Experiments with a novel type of Impossible Object called the Devil’s Torpedo Tubes support beliefs about human vision that are embodied in IO, in particular: (1) pseudostability exists — i.e. people may notice nothing wrong with the ‘objects’ in anomalous pictures for a considerable time; (2) human vision does a good deal of its work in the context of local clusters of features; (3) human vision does not analyse connectivity at all thoroughly; (4) quite basic decisions in human vision are affected by transformations which change lengths and angles but leave connectivity unchanged. IO also models some quantitative features of the data, though not all.


Aspect Ratio Test Stimulus Response Type Human Vision Lower Aspect Ratio 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roddy Cowie
    • 1
  • Rex Mitchell
    • 1
  • Tony Reinhardt-Rutland
    • 2
  1. 1.School of PsychologyQueen’s University of BelfastBelfastUK
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Ulster at JordanstownBelfastUK

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