Foveal gravity: A robust illusion of color-location misbinding

Cristina R. Ceja*, Nicole L. Jardine, Steven L. Franconeri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Some types of object features, such as color, shape, or location, can be processed separately within the visual system, requiring that they be correctly “bound” to a single object via attentional selection of a subset of visual information. Forcing selection to spread too widely can cause an illusion where these features misbind to objects, creating illusory objects that were never present. Here, we present a novel display that produces a robust color-location misbinding illusion that we call foveal gravity (viewable at When observers selected only a set of colored objects, colors were largely perceived in their correct locations. When observers additionally selected objects in the far periphery, colors in the near periphery migrated closer to the fovea on over 35% of trials. We speculate that foveal gravity occurs because locations closer to the fovea are more likely to defeat more peripheral locations in competitive interactions to “win” the task-relevant color.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-592
Number of pages8
JournalAttention, Perception, and Psychophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • Binding
  • Divided attention
  • Selective attention
  • Visual perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Linguistics and Language


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