About individual differences in vision

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Abstract

In cognition, audition, and somatosensation, performance strongly correlates between different paradigms, which suggests the existence of common factors. In contrast, visual performance in seemingly very similar tasks, such as visual and bisection acuity, are hardly related, i.e., pairwise correlations between performance levels are low even though test-retest reliability is high. Here we show similar results for visual illusions. Consistent with previous findings, we found significant correlations between the illusion magnitude of the Ebbinghaus and Ponzo illusions, but this relationship was the only significant correlation out of 15 further comparisons. Similarly, we found a significant link for the Ponzo illusion with both mental imagery and cognitive disorganization. However, most other correlations between illusions and personality were not significant. The findings suggest that vision is highly specific, i.e., there is no common factor. While this proposal does not exclude strong and stable associations between certain illusions and between certain illusions and personality traits, these associations seem to be the exception rather than the rule.

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