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Phantom motion aftereffects - Evidence of detectors for the analysis of optic flow

Snowden, Robert Jefferson and Milne, A. B. 1997. Phantom motion aftereffects - Evidence of detectors for the analysis of optic flow. Current Biology 7 (10) , pp. 717-722. 10.1016/S0960-9822(06)00329-0

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Background: Electrophysiological recording from the extrastriate cortex of non-human primates has revealed neurons that have large receptive fields and are sensitive to various components of object or self movement, such as translations, rotations and expansion/contractions. If these mechanisms exist in human vision, they might be susceptible to adaptation that generates motionaftereffects (MAEs). Indeed, it might be possible to adapt the mechanism in one part of the visual field and reveal what we term a ‘phantom MAE’ in another part. Results: The existence of phantom MAEs was probed by adapting to a pattern that contained motion in only two non-adjacent ‘quarter’ segments and then testing using patterns that had elements in only the other two segments. We also tested for the more conventional ‘concrete’ MAE by testing in the same two segments that had adapted. The strength of each MAE was quantified by measuring the percentage of dots that had to be moved in the opposite direction to the MAE in order to nullify it. Four experiments tested rotational motion, expansion/contraction motion, translational motion and a ‘rotation’ that consisted simply of the two segments that contained only translational motions of opposing direction. Compared to a baseline measurement where no adaptation took place, all subjects in all experiments exhibited both concrete and phantom MAEs, with the size of the latter approximately half that of the former. Conclusions: Adaptation to two segments that contained upward and downward motion induced the perception of leftward and rightward motion in another part of the visual field. This strongly suggests there are mechanisms in human vision that are sensitive to complex motions such as rotations.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0960-9822
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:10

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