Age-related changes in the susceptibility to visual illusions of size

Yarden Mazuz, Yoav Kessler, Tzvi Ganel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As the global population ages, understanding of the effect of aging on visual perception is of growing importance. This study investigates age-related changes in adulthood along size perception through the lens of three visual illusions: the Ponzo, Ebbinghaus, and Height-width illusions. Utilizing the Bayesian conceptualization of the aging brain, which posits increased reliance on prior knowledge with age, we explored potential differences in the susceptibility to visual illusions across different age groups in adults (ages 20–85 years). To this end, we used the BTPI (Ben-Gurion University Test for Perceptual Illusions), an online validated battery of visual illusions developed in our lab. The findings revealed distinct patterns of age-related changes for each of the illusions, challenging the idea of a generalized increase in reliance on prior knowledge with age. Specifically, we observed a systematic reduction in susceptibility to the Ebbinghaus illusion with age, while susceptibility to the Height-width illusion increased with age. As for the Ponzo illusion, there were no significant changes with age. These results underscore the complexity of age-related changes in visual perception and converge with previous findings to support the idea that different visual illusions of size are mediated by distinct perceptual mechanisms.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number14583
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2024


  • Aging
  • Size perception
  • Visual illusions
  • Visual perception

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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