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Rumi Hisakata, Ikuya Murakami; Spatial scaling of illusory motion perceived in a static figure. Journal of Vision 2018;18(13):15. doi: 10.1167/18.13.15.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
In a phenomenon known as the Rotating Snakes illusion (Kitaoka & Ashida, 2003), illusory motion is perceived in a static figure with a specially designed luminance profile. It is known that the strength of this illusion increases with eccentricity, suggesting that the underlying mechanism of the illusion has a spatial property that changes with eccentricity. If a change in receptive-field size of responsible neurons causes the eccentricity dependence of the illusion, its strength should be spatially scalable using a scaling factor that increases with eccentricity, because the receptive field size of neurons in visual areas with retinotopy generally obeys quantitative dependence on eccentricity. For the luminance micropatterns comprising the figure for the Rotating Snakes illusion, we varied eccentricity from 9 to 15 deg and spatial frequency from 0.25 to 1.6 cycles/deg, and measured illusion strength. Illusion strength was found to increase with decreasing spatial frequency and with increasing eccentricity. Furthermore, the profiles of illusion strength at different eccentricities were spatially scalable into a single parabola as a function of the spatially scaled visual angle. The estimated scaling factors linearly increased with eccentricity with a slope similar to the eccentricity dependence of the receptive field size of V1 neurons, suggesting the involvement of early visual areas in the generation of the illusion.
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