The paradoxical moon illusions.Percept Mot Skills. 1980 Feb; 50(1):271-83.PM
An adaptation theory of visual space is developed and applied to the data of a variety of studies of visual space perception. By distinguishing between the perceived distance of an object and that of the background or sky, the theory resolves the paradox of the moon illusions and relates both perceived size and perceived distance of the moon to the absolute level of spatial adaptation. The theory assumes that visual space expands or contracts in adjustment to changes in the sensory indicators of depth and provides a measure, A, of this adaptation-level. Changes in A have two effects--one on perceived size, one on perceived distance. Since A varies systematically as a function of angle of regard, availability of cues, and the total space-value, A is a measure of the moon illusions, and a practical index of individual differences by pilots and astronauts in the perception of the size and distance of objects on the ground and in the air.