Simulation and Modelling Section, DRDC Toronto, 1133 Sheppard Avenue West, P.O. Box 2000, Toronto, Ont., Canada M3M 3B9. firstname.lastname@example.org
Continuously, moving objects under continuous illumination can be seen to move in a direction opposite to their actual motion. This illusory reversed motion can be explained as due to discrete temporal sampling of the moving stimulus by the visual system. If temporal sampling lies behind the illusory motion, then the probability of illusory motion should depend on the temporal frequency of the motion stimulus. By presenting contracting bull's-eye gratings of various spatial frequencies we were able to tease apart the drift speed and temporal frequency. The prevalence of illusory percepts depended on the temporal frequency, not the speed. The data suggest that the human visual system samples the incoming stimulation at a rate near 16 Hz.
Pulsed out of awareness: EEG alpha oscillations represent a pulsed-inhibition of ongoing cortical processing.
Department of Psychology, Beckman Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL, USA.
Alpha oscillations are ubiquitous in the brain, but their role in cortical processing remains a matter of debate. Recently, evidence has begun to accumulate in support of a role for alpha oscillations in attention selection and control. Here we first review evidence that 8-12 Hz oscillations in the brain have a general inhibitory role in cognitive processing, with an emphasis on their role in visual processing. Then, we summarize the evidence in support of our recent proposal that alpha represents a pulsed-inhibition of ongoing neural activity. The phase of the ongoing electroencephalography can influence evoked activity and subsequent processing, and we propose that alpha exerts its inhibitory role through alternating microstates of inhibition and excitation. Finally, we discuss evidence that this pulsed-inhibition can be entrained to rhythmic stimuli in the environment, such that preferential processing occurs for stimuli at predictable moments. The entrainment of preferential phase may provide a mechanism for temporal attention in the brain. This pulsed inhibitory account of alpha has important implications for many common cognitive phenomena, such as the attentional blink, and seems to indicate that our visual experience may at least some times be coming through in waves.
Department of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA. email@example.com
An illusion of reversed motion may occur sporadically while viewing continuous smooth motion. This has been suggested as evidence of discrete temporal sampling by the visual system in analogy to the sampling that generates the wagon-wheel effect on film (D. Purves, J. A. Paydarfar,& T. J. Andrews, 1996; R. VanRullen, L. Reddy,& C. Koch, 2005). In an alternative theory, the illusion is not the result of discrete sampling but instead of perceptual rivalry between appropriately activated and spuriously activated motion detectors (K. A. Kline, A. O. Holcombe,& D. M. Eagleman, 2004, 2006). Results of the current study demonstrate that illusory reversals of two spatially overlapping and orthogonal motions often occur separately, providing evidence against the possibility that illusory motion reversal (IMR) is caused by temporal sampling within a visual region. Further, we find that IMR occurs with non-uniform and non-periodic stimuli-an observation that is not accounted for by the temporal sampling hypothesis. We propose, that a motion aftereffect is superimposed on the moving stimulus, sporadically allowing motion detectors for the reverse direction to dominate perception.
CNRS, Centre de Recherche Cerveau et Cognition, Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse 3, 31062 Toulouse Cedex 9, France.
The occurrence of perceived reversed motion while observers view a continuous, periodically moving stimulus (a bistable phenomenon coined the "continuous Wagon Wheel Illusion" or "c-WWI") has been taken as evidence that some aspects of motion perception rely on discrete sampling of visual information. Alternative accounts rely on the possibility of a motion aftereffect that may become visible even while the adapting stimulus is present. Here I show that motion adaptation might be necessary, but is not sufficient to explain the illusion. When local adaptation is prevented by slowly drifting the moving wheel across the retina, the c-WWI illusion tends to decrease, as do other bistable percepts (e.g. binocular rivalry). However, the strength of the c-WWI and that of adaptation (as measured by either the static or flicker motion aftereffects) are not directly related: although the c-WWI decreases with increasing eccentricity, the aftereffects actually intensify concurrently. A similar dissociation can be induced by manipulating stimulus contrast. This indicates that the c-WWI may be enabled by, but is not equivalent to, local motion adaptation - and that other factors such as discrete sampling may be involved in its generation.
Centre de Recherche Cerveau et Cognition (UMR 5549) CNRS - Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse 3, Faculté de Médecine Rangueil, 31062 Toulouse Cedex, France.
The occurrence of perceived reversed motion while observers view a periodic, continuously moving stimulus (the "continuous Wagon Wheel Illusion") has been taken as evidence that some aspects of motion perception rely on discrete sampling of visual information. The spatial extent of this sampling is currently under debate. When two separate motion stimuli are viewed simultaneously, the illusion of reversed motion rarely occurs for both objects together: this rules out global sampling of the visual field. The same result holds when the objects are superimposed by transparency: this argues against location-based sampling. Here we show that the sampling is in fact object-based: we use a rotating ring stimulus split in two halves. When the two halves move in opposite directions, appearing to belong to separate objects, perceptual reversals occur in either half at a time, but rarely in both. When the two halves physically move in compatible directions, they generally appear to reverse simultaneously: the illusion keeps the perceptual object united. Rather than the local low-level properties of the motion stimulus (which are comparable in both cases), it is thus the high-level organization of the scene that determines the extent of perceived motion reversals. These results imply that the continuous Wagon Wheel Illusion, and any discrete perceptual sampling that may cause it, is restricted to the object of our attention.
Department of Psychology, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org
The fact that a perceptual experience akin to the familiar wagon-wheel illusion in movies and on TV can occur in the absence of stroboscopic presentation is intriguing because of its relevance to visuo-temporal parsing. The wagon-wheel effect in continuous light has also been the source of considerable misunderstanding and dispute, as is apparent in a series of recent papers. Here we review this potentially confusing evidence and suggest how it should be interpreted.
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School of Psychology, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK. email@example.com
Classical data on the detection of simple patterns show that two eyes are more sensitive than one eye. The degree of binocular summation is important for inferences about the underlying combination mechanism. In a signal detection theory framework, sensitivity is limited by internal noise. If noise is added centrally after binocular combination, binocular sensitivity is expected to be twice as good as monocular. If the noise is added peripherally at each eye prior to combination, binocular sensitivity will be sqrt higher than monocular. In a large sample of observers (51), we measured contrast sensitivity for detection of gratings at several spatial frequencies using left, right, or both eyes. Estimates of binocular summation using both binocular summation ratios and Minkowski coefficients show a summation ratio with means in the range of 1.5-1.6. The 95% confidence interval overlaps with the value of sqrt predicted by the peripheral noise model and does not overlap with the value of 2 predicted by the central noise model.
Department of Vision Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, 70 Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow, Scotland, G4 0BA, United Kingdom.
Purpose: The aim of the study was to investigate the correlation between neural and haemodynamic responses to stereoscopic stimuli recorded over visual cortex. Methods: Test stimuli consisted of a static checkerboard (checks) and dichoptic static random dot (RD) presentations with no binocular disparity (ZD) or with horizontal disparity (HD). Haemodynamic responses were recorded from right and left occipital sites using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Visual evoked potentials (VEPs) were recorded over three occipital sites to the onset of the same stimuli. Results: Early components, N1 and P2 were sensitive to HD suggesting that an enhanced N1- reduced P2 complex could be an indicator of binocular disparity and stereopsis. VEPs to checks and ZD stimulation were similar. fNIRS recordings showed changes in haemodynamic activation from baseline levels in response to all stimuli. In general, HD elicited a larger vascular response than ZD. Oxyhaemoglobin concentration (HbO) was correlated with the VEP amplitude during the checks and HD presentations. Conclusions: We report an association between neural and haemodynamic activation in response to checks and HD. In addition, the results suggested that N1-P2 complex in the VEP could be a neural marker for stereopsis and fNIRS demonstrated differences in HbO with stereopsis. Specifically, checks and HD elicited larger haemodynamic responses than random dot patterns without binocular disparity.
Glasgow Caledonian University, Department of Vision Sciences, Glasgow, United Kingdom. firstname.lastname@example.org
PURPOSE The purpose of the study was to use functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to explore the extent of activation in occipito-parietal cortices to high-contrast checkerboard stimuli. The distributions of oxyhemoglobin (HbO), deoxyhemoglobin (Hb), and total hemoglobin (THb) concentrations were used as measures of cortical activation. METHODS Data were collected sequentially using the Frequency Domain Multi-Distance oximeter to record absolute chromophore concentration. Responses to three presentation modes (static, pattern reversal, and ON/OFF stimulation) were compared over 15 locations in two participants. The most effective stimulus was used in 10 participants at the most responsive occipito-parietal sites. RESULTS Pattern-reversal stimulation evoked the largest increase in HbO, and this increase was greatest at O1 and O2 (5% to the right and left of the midline occipital location Oz) and diminished at recording locations over the posterior parietal regions in the vertical direction. Hb changes were smaller than those observed for HbO. Significantly smaller responses were recorded over the midline (Oz) compared with those at O1 and O2. Changes in hemoglobin concentration reflected the location of activated brain tissue. CONCLUSIONS The authors have demonstrated the distribution of the hemodynamic response using absolute values of hemoglobin chromophores in response to simple but strong stimulation using checkerboard presentations.
Investigating the mechanisms that may underlie the reduction in contrast sensitivity during dynamic accommodation.
Department of Vision Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK. Sven.Mucke@gcal.ac.uk
Head and eye movements, together with ocular accommodation enable us to explore our visual environment. The stability of this environment is maintained during saccadic and vergence eye movements due to reduced contrast sensitivity to low spatial frequency information. Our recent work has revealed a new type of selective reduction of contrast sensitivity to high spatial frequency patterns during the fast phase of dynamic accommodation responses compared with steady-state accommodation. Here were report data which show a strong correlation between the effects of reduced contrast sensitivity during dynamic accommodation and velocity of accommodation responses, elicited by ramp changes in accommodative demand. The results were accounted for by a contrast gain control model of a cortical mechanism for contrast detection during dynamic ocular accommodation. Sensitivity, however, was not altered during attempted accommodation responses in the absence of crystalline-lens changes due to cycloplegia. These findings suggest that contrast sensitivity reduction during dynamic accommodation may be a consequence of cortical inhibition driven by proprioceptive-like signals originating within the ciliary muscle, rather than by corollary discharge signals elicited simultaneously with the motor command to the ciliary muscle.
Vision Sciences Department, Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G4 0BA, UK. Petar.Mihaylov@gcal.ac.uk
Research has shown that exposure to a homogeneous gray patch surrounded by a dynamic noise background causes filling-in of the artificial scotoma by the twinkling noise from the surround. When the background is switched off, observers report perception of a prolonged patch of twinkling noise in the unstimulated area. We studied the effects of exposure to a centrally presented artificial scotoma and the twinkling aftereffect on the threshold for detecting a foveal Gabor patch embedded in external scotoma noise. The detection thresholds were mainly elevated in the absence of scotoma noise and less affected at higher levels of scotoma noise. The analysis of the experimental data using the equivalent input noise approach revealed that the reduced contrast sensitivity is due to induced internal noise whose variance is proportional to the strength of the surrounding noise. We did not find significant effects on the internal noise in a control experiment using flickering Gaussian noise samples of 1.6 Hz which did not cause filling-in and dynamic afterimage. These findings suggest that the perceptual phenomena caused by artificial scotomas may reflect increased variability of neural activity due to long-range interactions between the surrounding noise and unstimulated region of the artificial scotoma.
Department of Life Sciences, University of Toronto at Scarborough, 1265 Military Trail, Toronto, Ont., Canada M1C 1A4. email@example.com
Rashbass [Rashbass, C.(1970). The visibility of transient changes of luminance. Journal of Physiology, 210, 165-186] presented pairs of flashes having various contrasts separated by a delay, and found that the thresholds for detecting the pairs fell on an ellipse. He fit the data using a model that computed the filtered energy of the pulses. Although this Rashbass model is phase-insensitive, many other experimental results show that humans can perform phase-sensitive detection consistent with a template-matching mechanism. We show that an observer who uses a form of template-matching produces thresholds that fall on an ellipse, just like the Rashbass model. The results from two-pulse experiments are consistent with the idea that humans cross-correlate the stimulus (signal or noise) with a filtered version of the expected signal rather than the signal itself. In symbols, we propose that observers compute integral r(t)[s(t)*h(t)]dt where r(t) is the received stimulus on a given trial [s(t)+n(t) or n(t)], s(t) is the signal, h(t) is the visual filter, and * is convolution.
Department of Vision Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G4 0BA, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org
Research has shown that the sensitivity to second-order modulations of carrier contrast is lower than that to first-order luminance modulations stimuli. We sought to compare the efficiency of processing first- and second-order information. Employing a phase-discrimination paradigm we found that when humans were given sufficient a priori information of signal parameters they detected both luminance and contrast modulations of 0.6 and 2c/deg by a phase-sensitive algorithm. The overall detection efficiency for second-order patterns, however, was lower that that for first-order stimuli. To study the factors which limit the efficiency of first- and second-order vision, we measured detection performance for luminance and contrast modulations of 0.6 and 2c/deg embedded in Gaussian noise. The results showed that the detection of second-order patterns had lower sampling efficiency and higher additive internal noise as compared to the detection of first-order stimuli. Classification images for detecting contrast modulations of 2c/deg resembled the side-band component of the contrast modulations which suggests that human observers may detect contrast modulations of a sinusoidal carrier using first-order luminance channels. The lower sensitivity of the mechanism detecting second-order patterns might be due to higher levels of additive internal noise and lower sampling efficiency than those of the mechanism analysing first-order patterns.
Department of Vision Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G4 0BA, UK. email@example.com
We studied visual evoked potentials (VEPs) elicited by second-order contrast modulations of binary dynamic noise and first-order luminance modulations. Using a 3-point Laplacian operator centred on Oz, we found that contrast modulations of both low and higher spatial frequencies elicited a negative component whose latency was about 200 ms. The latency of this component was significantly longer than that of the early Laplacian components to first-order luminance modulations. These findings could be due to slower first-stage linear filters and additional processing stages of the second-order pathway. The topographical analysis of scalp recorded VEPs to central and half-field stimulation has suggested that the responses to second-order patterns are likely to be generated by neuronal structures within the primary visual cortex which may have inputs from extrastriate neurons via feedback connections.
Vision Res. 2004 ;44 (22):2577-85 15358073
Vision Sciences Department, Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G4 0BA, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org
Internal noise and sampling efficiency are the main factors which limit visual performance. In a previous study [Vis. Res. 43 (2003) 1103] we compared the variance of human reaction time to that of an ideal observer and found that the sampling efficiency to suprathreshold stimuli was much lower than that obtained in detection experiments. In order to bypass the effects of the motor system on visual performance, we used a flash-sound simultaneity paradigm. We found that the sampling efficiency for 0.4- and 4-c/deg near-threshold Gabor patches is higher only by a factor of 2.5 than that to above-threshold patterns. The signal-dependent multiplicative internal noise was similar to the additive internal noise at lower signal contrast levels and exceeded it at higher signal contrast levels. The results show that real observers' performance for detecting suprathreshold stimuli can be accounted for by a model taking into account the non-linear visual-signal transduction and multiplicative components of the internal noise induced by the signal and external noise. In addition, this model assumes that performance depends on the response duration, rather than signal duration. The results imply that the multiplicative internal noise induced by high contrast visual signals determines performance for suprathreshold visual detection.
SMART-DRDC Toronto, 1133 Sheppard Avenue West, P.O. Box 2000, Ont., M3M 3B9, Toronto, Canada. email@example.com
By comparing real observers to an ideal observer, previous studies have found that the detection of static patterns is limited by internal noise and by imperfect sampling efficiency. We developed and applied ideal observer models for the detection, discrimination, and summation of oppositely drifting gratings in Gaussian white noise. The three tasks share a common source of internal noise. The sampling efficiencies were on the order of 1-2% except for much lower efficiency in direction discrimination for faster moving gratings. The efficiency of direction discrimination relative to detection systematically declines as the speed is increased from 1 to 6 Hz. These results suggest that observers use mismatched filters tuned to slow speeds regardless of the signal speed. Human visual motion sensing appears to use distorted representations of the incoming signals, and this distortion is a major limitation to visual performance.
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J Vis. 2012 ;12 (12): 23197769
Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway University of London, UK.
Slowly moving low contrast patterns appear to drift more slowly than higher contrast patterns. It has been reported that this effect of contrast is reversed for flickering patterns such that they appear to flicker faster than high contrast patterns. This apparent difference in the effect of contrast on perceived speed and flicker may place important constraints upon models of speed encoding in the human visual system. We have measured perceived speed and flicker over a range of spatial and temporal frequencies. The results indicate that contrast has qualitatively (but not quantitatively) similar effects upon perceived speed and flicker. The results also indicate that the effect of contrast upon perceived speed is likely to be inherited from the effect of contrast upon perceived flicker. These findings allow a relaxation of previous constraints upon models of speed encoding.
Vision Res. 2012 Jun 1;62 :17-25 22503556
Institute of Psychology, University of Kiel, Olshausenstr. 62, D-24118 Kiel, Germany.
Several studies show that the perception of occlusion may affect various aspects of motion perception. Here we present data indicating that occlusion cues also influence the visual interpolation of sampled motion. Normally, sampled motion stimuli are perceived as less smooth and jerkier when the spatial gaps between successive presentations of the "moving" target stimulus increase. Adding surfaces occluding the spatial gaps, however, we found that the perceived smoothness of motion was not only better, but also independent of the gap width. We argue that this effect occurs because the visual system attributes the interruptions in the motion path to occlusion rather than to the moving object itself.
Vision Res. 2012 Jun 1;62 :84-92 22484200
Department of Psychology, David Goldman Informatics Center, University of Sunderland, Sunderland SR6 0DD, United Kingdom.
Extensive research suggests that the visual system computes the direction of motion of a two-dimensional pattern from the motion of its oriented spatial frequency components. However, there is some evidence to suggest that the local features in a pattern are also important. In order to demonstrate that the local features contribute to motion perception we have created complex stimuli in which the oriented spatial frequency components have the same direction of motion but the local features move in different directions. The stimuli are multi-component plaid patterns with alternating high and low contrast rows. An analysis based on the oriented spatial frequency components predicts a uniform motion percept for the whole pattern. However, an analysis based on the local features in the pattern predicts that the high-contrast and low-contrast rows would be perceived to move in opposite directions. In a direction discrimination task, observers reported opposite directions of motion for small patches of the pattern that were centred on high and low contrast rows. This supports the hypothesis that the visual system uses local features when computing pattern motion. We show that a simple energy model with localised motion sensors that are broadly tuned for orientation could explain our results.
Faculty of Psychology, University of Vienna, Liebiggasse 5, Vienna, Austria. firstname.lastname@example.org
In three experiments, we tested whether sequentially coding two visual stimuli can create a spatial misperception of a visual moving stimulus. In Experiment 1, we showed that a spatial misperception, the flash-lag effect, is accompanied by a similar temporal misperception of first perceiving the flash and only then a change of the moving stimulus, when in fact the two events were exactly simultaneous. In Experiment 2, we demonstrated that when the spatial misperception of a flash-lag effect is absent, the temporal misperception is also absent. In Experiment 3, we extended these findings and showed that if the stimulus conditions require coding first a flash and subsequently a nearby moving stimulus, a spatial flash-lag effect is found, with the position of the moving stimulus being misperceived as shifted in the direction of its motion, whereas this spatial misperception is reversed so that the moving stimulus is misperceived as shifted in a direction opposite to its motion when the conditions require coding first the moving stimulus and then the flash. Together, the results demonstrate that sequential coding of two stimuli can lead to a spatial misperception whose direction can be predicted from the order of coding the moving object versus the flash. We propose an attentional sequential-coding explanation for the flash-lag effect and discuss its explanatory power with respect to related illusions (e.g., the Fröhlich effect) and other explanations.
Vis Neurosci. 2011 Apr 26;:1-10 21518470
General principles in motion vision: Color blindness of object motion depends on pattern velocity in honeybee and goldfish.
Institut für Zoologie III (Neurobiologie), Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz, Germany.
Visual systems can undergo striking adaptations to specific visual environments during evolution, but they can also be very "conservative." This seems to be the case in motion vision, which is surprisingly similar in species as distant as honeybee and goldfish. In both visual systems, motion vision measured with the optomotor response is color blind and mediated by one photoreceptor type only. Here, we ask whether this is also the case if the moving stimulus is restricted to a small part of the visual field, and test what influence velocity may have on chromatic motion perception. Honeybees were trained to discriminate between clockwise- and counterclockwise-rotating sector disks. Six types of disk stimuli differing in green receptor contrast were tested using three different rotational velocities. When green receptor contrast was at a minimum, bees were able to discriminate rotation directions with all colored disks at slow velocities of 6 and 12 Hz contrast frequency but not with a relatively high velocity of 24 Hz. In the goldfish experiment, the animals were trained to detect a moving red or blue disk presented in a green surround. Discrimination ability between this stimulus and a homogenous green background was poor when the M-cone type was not or only slightly modulated considering high stimulus velocity (7 cm/s). However, discrimination was improved with slower stimulus velocities (4 and 2 cm/s). These behavioral results indicate that there is potentially an object motion system in both honeybee and goldfish, which is able to incorporate color information at relatively low velocities but is color blind with higher speed. We thus propose that both honeybees and goldfish have multiple subsystems of object motion, which include achromatic as well as chromatic processing.
Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, 1-17 Machikaneyama, Toyonaka 560-0043, Japan. email@example.com
A number of previous studies have extensively investigated directional anisotropy in motion perception. However, consensus has not been reached regarding the nature of motion directional anisotropies in human vision. In this study, we investigated the directional anisotropy of human motion perception by moving random-dot stimuli in the peripheral upper visual field. Our findings show that the degree of directional anisotropy depends on the stimulus speed. Furthermore, the high and low speed conditions have preferred directions that are opposite. This may reflect differences in the directional information among temporal frequencies in natural scenes. These differences are thought to have crucial roles in the detection of motion direction.
Conscious Cogn. 2010 Jan 19;: 20093045
Georg-Elias-Müller Institute for Psychology, Georg-August University Göttingen, Gosslerstr. 14, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany.
When observers view a rapidly moving stimulus they may see only a static streak. We report that there can be a transient percept of motion if such a moving stimulus is preceded or followed by a stationary image of that stimulus. A ring of dots was rotated so rapidly observers only saw a continuous outline circle and could not report its rotation direction. When an objectively stationary ring of dots preceded or followed this rotating ring, the stationary ring appeared to visibly launch into motion from a standstill or visibly rotate to a halt, principally in the same direction as the actual rapid rotation. Thus, motions too rapid to be consciously perceived as motion can nonetheless be processed by the visual system, and generate neural transition states that are consciously experienced as motion percepts. We suggest such transition states might serve a unifying function by bridging discontinuous motion states.
Department of Psychology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org
Motion-induced blindness (MIB) describes the occasional disappearance of salient visual objects in the presence of moving features (Y. S. Bonneh, A. Cooperman,& D. Sagi, 2001). Here we test whether motion adaptation and the ensuing motion aftereffect (MAE) are sufficient to trigger disappearance of salient targets. In three experiments, observers adapted to either rotating or static stimuli. Immediately afterwards, a static test pattern was presented consisting of a mask with texture elements and three superimposed target dots in a triangular arrangement. Observers reported dot disappearance and reappearance. The results clearly show that illusory motion in a static test pattern, following motion adaptation, promotes the disappearance of target dots. Furthermore, disappearance is modulated by the depth relationship between test pattern and targets, increasing for targets placed stereoscopically behind the test pattern. We conclude that MIB is influenced by perceived relative motion between depth-segregated features.
Department of Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan. email@example.com
Despite wide recognition that a moving object is perceived to last longer, scientists do not yet agree as to how this illusion occurs. In the present study, we conducted two experiments using two experimental methods, namely duration matching and reproduction, and systematically manipulated the temporal frequency, spatial frequency, and speed of the stimulus, to identify the determinant factor of the illusion. Our results indicated that the speed of the stimulus, rather than temporal frequency or spatial frequency per se, best described the perceived duration of a moving stimulus, with the apparent duration proportionally increasing with log speed (Experiments 1 and 2). However, in an additional experiment, we found little or no change in onset and offset reaction times for moving stimuli (Experiment 3). Arguing that speed information is made explicit in higher stages of visual information processing in the brain, we suggest that this illusion is primarily mediated by higher level motion processing stages in the dorsal pathway.
Saccades reveal that allocentric coding of the moving object causes mislocalization in the flash-lag effect.
School of Psychology, University of Queensland, McElwain Building, St. Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia. firstname.lastname@example.org
The flash-lag effect is a visual misperception of a position of a flash relative to that of a moving object: Even when both are at the same position, the flash is reported to lag behind the moving object. In the present study, the flash-lag effect was investigated with eye-movement measurements: Subjects were required to saccade to either the flash or the moving object. The results showed that saccades to the flash were precise, whereas saccades to the moving object showed an offset in the direction of motion. A further experiment revealed that this offset in the saccades to the moving object was eliminated when the whole background flashed. This result indicates that saccadic offsets to the moving stimulus critically depend on the spatially distinctive flash in the vicinity of the moving object. The results are incompatible with current theoretical explanations of the flash-lag effect, such as the motion extrapolation account. We propose that allocentric coding of the position of the moving object could account for the flash-lag effect.