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J Vis. 2010 Oct 15;10(12):19. doi: 10.1167/10.12.19.

The effect of motion adaptation on the position of elements in the visual saltation illusion.

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The School of Optometry and Vision Science, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.


The visual saltation illusion--illusory motion induced by presenting elements first to one peripheral location, then to another, in rapid and regular succession--belongs to a class of stimuli for which a difference exists between the physical and perceived positions of elements. Rather than being perceived at their physical location, elements are perceived as traveling smoothly across the area between the two locations. In separate experiments, we examined the distortion to the saltatory path caused by adaptation to an upward drifting grating presented between the two physically stimulated locations (where elements were nonetheless perceived), and at the first location of physical stimulation. Where adaptation occurred between the two sites of physical stimulation, the saltatory path was distorted as if elements had a physical origin at that location; elements perceived as arising from the central location were subject to a motion aftereffect (MAE). Where motion adaptation overlapped the first site of physical stimulation, the saltatory path was affected only for those elements perceived as arising from the first location; elements perceived at the central location (but physically presented at the first site of stimulation) were not subject to an MAE. Our results indicate that the impact of motion adaptation on position is dependent on the perceived, and not the physical, location of elements.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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