Download Bistable Perception of the Necker Cube in the Context of Cognition & Personality PDF

TitleBistable Perception of the Necker Cube in the Context of Cognition & Personality
File Size5.9 MB
Total Pages155
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Research Collection

Doctoral Thesis

Bistable perception of the Necker cube
In the context of cognition & personality

Wernery, Jannis

Publication Date:

Permanent Link:

Rights / License:
In Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted

This page was generated automatically upon download from the ETH Zurich Research Collection. For more
information please consult the Terms of use.

ETH Library

Page 2

DISS. ETH NO. 21214

Bistable Perception of
the Necker Cube

in the Context
of Cognition & Personality

A dissertation submitted to ETH ZURICH
for the degree of Doctor of Sciences presented by

Jannis Wernery

Dipl. Phys., ETH Zurich,
born 12 July 1984, from Germany,

accepted on the recommendation of

Prof. Gerd Folkers
PD Dr. Harald Atmanspacher

Prof. Reinhard Nesper


Page 77

et al. (1993) this confounding seems to have been avoided. Maybe longer
transformation sequences are necessary to reproduce these results for the
Necker cube. The results presented here show that a stronger adaptation
is necessary in order to design an experiment testing for hysteresis with the
Necker cube.


Page 78

6. Bias Effect

Even though, the Necker cube is a very symmetric figure, there is a preference
for one of the two percepts. This finding has been noted anecdotally by
several researchers. A detailed quantitative description of this bias effect will
be given in this chapter. It is indeed a very interesting effect as it provides
another piece of evidence for high-level influences in bistable perception, a
finding which will be discussed below.

6.1 Qualitative Reports
There are several articles that mention a preference in the perception of the
Necker cube, namely that it is preferably seen in the perspective from above
(percept A). Troje and McAdam (2010) call this the “viewing-from-above”
bias. In their work they find that the rotational bias in an ambiguously ro-
tating shilouette of a dancer is due to an elevated viewpoint.
Kornmeier et al. (2009) mention that “it is well known that the cube-front-
side bottom is the preferred initial percept of most observers”. They refer
to two studies authored by John R. Price that demonstrate that mean dwell
times over observers are longer for one percept than the other. In one case
(Price, 1967) the stimulus is a “pile of cubes” reproduced from Warren (1919),
and in the other it is a rotating wire cube (Price, 1969), which is ambigu-
ous with respect to the perceived direction of rotation. Both studies do not
quantify the strength of this bias. Furthermore, and more importantly, they
use stimuli different from the Necker cube, so no direct conclusion can be
drawn to the Necker cube.
Nakatani and van Leeuwen (2006) show fitting results of both the gamma
and the lognormal distribution for both percepts separately. However, they
do not discuss the difference in dwell times or test whether the differences in
gamma and lognormal parameters between the two percepts are significant.


Page 154

Curriculum Vitae

Jannis Wernery

Collegium Helveticum,
ETH Zürich & University of Zürich,
Schmelzbergstr. 25
8092 Zürich
+41(0)44 632 7501
[email protected]

Date of birth: 12 July 1984

Place of birth: Bad Säckingen, Germany

Nationality: German


2003 Abitur at Klettgau Gymnasium Tiengen, Tien-
gen, Germany

2003-2008 Studies of Physics at ETH Zürich completed with
a Diploma in Physics of ETHZ

2005-2006 Studies of Physics at the University of Edinburgh,

June & July 2006 Research internships at the groups for solid state
physics of Dr. Paul Clegg and Dr. Jason Crain of
the University of Edinburgh on molecular spectro-
scopy and particle solutions


Page 155

Summer 2007 Research internship at the nanophysics group of
Prof. Klaus Ensslin of ETHZ on atomic force

March - July 2008 Diploma thesis at Prof. Mark Sherwin’s group
at UC Santa Barbara, California, using terahertz
FTIR spectroscopy to study quantum posts, a new
semiconductor nanostructure

December 2008 - May

PhD at Collegium Helveticum, Laboratory for
Transdisciplinary Research, on bistable percep-
tion of the Necker cube

Research Fields and Interests

Visual and bistable perception (psychology), time perception, cognitive bases
of mathematics, philosophy of science


German (native), English, French


Wernery, J., 2011. Für einen Empirismus der Würde. In: Sigg, H., Folkers,
G. (Eds.), Güterabwägung bei der Bewilligung von Tierversuchen. Collegi-
umsheft 11, Collegium Helveticum, Zürich, pp. 119-121

Wernery, J., Kornmeier, J., Candia, V., Folkers, G., Atmanspacher, H., 2011.
Dwell time distributions for the bistable perception of the Necker cube. Per-
ception 40 (ECVP Abstract Supplement), 172.


Similer Documents