Images of illusory motion in primary visual cortex

Axel Larsen, Kristoffer Hougaard Madsen, Torben Ellegaard Lund, Claus Bundesen

AbstractIllusory motion can be generated by successively flashing a stationary visual stimulus in two spatial locations separated by several degrees of visual angle. In appropriate conditions, the apparent motion is indistinguishable from real motion: The observer experiences a luminous object traversing a continuous path from one stimulus location to the other through intervening positions where no physical stimuli exist. The phenomenon has been extensively investigated for nearly a century but little is known about its neurophysiological foundation. Here we present images of activations in the primary visual cortex in response to real and apparent motion. The images show that during apparent motion, a path connecting the cortical representations of the stimulus locations is filled in by activation. The activation along the path of apparent motion is similar to the activation found when a stimulus is presented in real motion between the two locations.
KeywordsAdult; Female; Humans; Male; methods; Motion Perception; Optical Illusions; Photic Stimulation; physiology; Research; Visual Cortex
TypeJournal paper [With referee]
JournalJournal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Year2006    Month July    Vol. 18    No. 7    pp. 1174-1180
BibTeX data [bibtex]
IMM Group(s)Intelligent Signal Processing


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