Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cognition. 2010 Feb;114(2):276-84. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2009.09.010. Epub 2009 Oct 22.

A motion aftereffect from visual imagery of motion.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, Stanford University, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305, United States.


Mental imagery is thought to share properties with perception. To what extent does the process of imagining a scene share neural circuits and computational mechanisms with actually perceiving the same scene? Here, we investigated whether mental imagery of motion in a particular direction recruits neural circuits tuned to the same direction of perceptual motion. To address this question we made use of a visual illusion, the motion aftereffect. We found that following prolonged imagery of motion in one direction, people are more likely to perceive real motion test probes as moving in the direction opposite to the direction of motion imagery. The transfer of adaptation from imagined to perceived motion provides evidence that motion imagery and motion perception recruit shared direction-selective neural circuitry. Even in the absence of any visual stimuli, people can selectively recruit specific low-level sensory neurons through mental imagery.

Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk