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Nicolas Davidenko, Nathan H. Heller, Yeram Cheong, Jacob Smith; Persistent illusory apparent motion in sequences of uncorrelated random dots. Journal of Vision 2017;17(3):19. doi: 10.1167/17.3.19.
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© 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
We report a novel phenomenon in which long sequences of random dot arrays refreshing at 2.5 Hz lead to persistent illusory percepts of coherent apparent motion. We term this effect illusory apparent motion (IAM). To quantify this illusion, we devised a persistence task in which observers are primed with a particular motion pattern and must indicate when the motion pattern ends. In Experiment 1 (N = 119), we induced translational apparent motion patterns and show that both drifting motion (e.g., up-up-up-up) and rebounding motion (e.g., up-down-up-down) persists throughout many frames of uncorrelated random dots, although rebounding motion tends to persist for longer (a rebounding bias). In Experiment 2 (N = 60), we induced rotational IAM on an annulus-shaped display, and show that the topology of the display (whether the annulus is complete or has a gap) determines whether or not the rebounding bias is present. Based on our findings, we argue that IAM provides a powerful tool to study the mechanisms, constraints, and individual differences in the perception of illusory motion.
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