This study investigated the relationship between the magnitude of illusory motion in the variants of the "Rotating Snakes" pattern and the visual preference among such patterns. In Experiment 1 we manipulated the outer contour and the internal geometrical structure of the figure to test for corresponding modulations in the perceived illusion magnitude. The strength of illusory motion was estimated by the method of adjustment where the speed of a standard moving figure was matched to the speed of the perceived illusory motion in test figures. We observed modulation of the perceived strength of illusory motion congruent with our geometrical manipulations. In Experiment 2, we directly compared the magnitude of the perceived illusory motion and the preference for these patterns by a method of paired comparison. Images differing in illusion magnitude showed corresponding differences in the reported preference for these patterns. In addition, further analysis revealed that the geometry and lower level image characteristics also substantially contributed to the observed preference ratings. Together these results support the idea that presence of illusory effect and geometrical characteristics determine affective preference for images, as they may be regarded as more interesting, surprising, or fascinating.
- Visual Perception