Untypical contrast normalization explains the “Weak Outnumber Strong” numerosity illusion
MetadataShow full item record
Lei Q and Reeves A (2022) Untypical Contrast Normalization Explains the “Weak Outnumber Strong” Numerosity Illusion. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 16:923072. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2022.923072
Less salient, lower contrast disks appear to be more numerous than more salient, higher contrast disks when intermingled in equal numbers into the same display (Lei and Reeves, 2018), but they are equal in perceived numerosity when segregated into different displays. Comparative judgements indicate that the apparent numerosity of the lower contrast disks is unaffected by being intermingled with high contrast disks, whereas the high contrast disks are reduced in numerosity by being intermingled with the low contrast ones (Lei and Reeves, 2018). Here, we report that this illusion also occurs for absolute judgements of the numerosities of displays of from 20 to 80 disks. A model based on luminance-difference contrast normalization (LDCN) explains the illusory loss of high-contrast (salient) items along with veridical perception of the low-contrast ones. The model correctly predicts that perceived numerosity is linearly related to the square-root of the number of disks, with the extent of the illusion depending on an attentionally-weighted function of contrast and assimilation.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.