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Proc Biol Sci. 2012 Aug 7;279(1740):3091-7. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2012.0637. Epub 2012 Apr 25.

Spatiotopic perceptual maps in humans: evidence from motion adaptation.

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Department of Physiological Sciences, Università Degli Studi di Pisa, Via S. Zeno 31, Pisa, Italy.


How our perceptual experience of the world remains stable and continuous despite the frequent repositioning eye movements remains very much a mystery. One possibility is that our brain actively constructs a spatiotopic representation of the world, which is anchored in external--or at least head-centred--coordinates. In this study, we show that the positional motion aftereffect (the change in apparent position after adaptation to motion) is spatially selective in external rather than retinal coordinates, whereas the classic motion aftereffect (the illusion of motion after prolonged inspection of a moving source) is selective in retinotopic coordinates. The results provide clear evidence for a spatiotopic map in humans: one which can be influenced by image motion.

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