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The piston effect is an optical illusion which occurs when two independent rectangular objects are moved backwards and forwards on either side of a screen. With appropriate timing they appear as a single object acting like a piston.

It is a kinetic screen effect similar to the tunnel effect.


  • Eysenck, H.J , Arnold, W & Meili, R(1972). Encylopedia of Psychology. Herder KG:Germany

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