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In an inverted T figure, the vertical line is largely overestimated (Avery and Day in J Exp Psychol 81:376–380, 1969). This vertical overestimation results from the vertical and bisection biases. Line orientation biases length perception in the sense that the vertical line of a L shape is perceived as longer than the horizontal line of the same physical length. In the inverted T figure, the vertical line is overestimated because of its orientation but also because the horizontal line is bisected. In the current study, we used various two-line configurations to investigate the role of bisection a/symmetry in line length perception and its interaction with the vertical bias. Experiment 1 showed that symmetry and asymmetry of bisection have different consequences on line length perception, as previously shown by Wolfe et al. (Percept Psychophys 67:967–979, 2005). Experiments 2 focused on the relation between the vertical and bisection biases by manipulating orthogonally line orientation and bisection a/symmetry. The results provided evidence that bisection can prevent the manifestation of the vertical bias, so that when the two lines are bisected, vertical lines are not anymore overestimated. These results are discussed in the light of recent findings claiming that saccades could play an essential role in length perception.
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- Length perception of horizontal and vertical bisected lines