It is not evident how the small effects of the flankers of the Ebbinghaus figure on peak grip aperture (PGA) should be interpreted. One interpretation is that the flankers influence the estimated size, which in turn influences the grasp. If this interpretation is correct, then only the size-dependent aspects of the grasping movement should depend on the spatial positions of the flankers. An alternative interpretation is that the effect on grip aperture is caused by a change in judgement of the required precision, in which case various aspects of the grasping movement could be influenced by the size and position of the flankers. We presented subjects with a display consisting of a central disk surrounded by four large or small flankers. The array of circular flankers could be rotated by 45°. There were two tasks: to reproduce the perceived size of the central disk, and to grasp the central disk. As in other studies, the reproduced size and the PGA were both influenced by the size of the flankers. The effect on reproduced size settings was independent of the flankers' spatial position. Nevertheless, the flankers' position did influence the final grip aperture and the grip orientation at PGA and at movement offset. Because the flankers changed more than only the PGA, we conclude that the effect of the flankers on prehension cannot only be because of misjudgement of the size of the central disk.

Action, Illusion, Perception, Prehension,
Experimental Brain Research
Department of Neuroscience

de Grave, D.D.J, Biegstraaten, M, Smeets, J.B.J, & Brenner, E. (2005). Effects of the Ebbinghaus figure on grasping are not only due to misjudged size. Experimental Brain Research, 163(1), 58–64. doi:10.1007/s00221-004-2138-0