Spatial contingency and the McCollough effect
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On the basis of a conditioning analysis of the orientation-contingent color aftereffect (McCollough effect, ME), orientation stimuli become associated with simultaneously presented chromatic stimuli. This account suggests that decreasing the contingency between the grid orientation and color should decrease the strength of the aftereffect. Results of previous research indicate that decreasing the temporal contingency (by presenting homogeneous chromatic stimuli between presentations of chromatic grids) does not decrease the ME. However, it has been suggested that the appropriate contingency-degradation procedure would involve decreasing spatial (rather than temporal) contingency. That is, the illusion should be attenuated by extending the color beyond the confines of the grid. Contrary to this hypothesis, the results of the present experiments provide no evidence that decreasing the spatial contingency between grid and color decreases the ME; rather, the aftereffect is increased by such a manipulation.
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