We measured contrast thresholds for perception of the Hermann grid illusion, using different contrast polarities and mean luminances, in dyslexics and non-dyslexics. Both groups of subjects gave significantly lower thresholds with grids having dark squares and light paths, but there was no significant threshold difference between groups. Perceived strength of illusion was also measured in grids at suprathreshold contrast levels. Dyslexics perceived the illusion to be significantly stronger than non-dyslexics when the grid had light paths and low luminance. (c) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.