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Maximilian Stein, Robert Fendrich, Uwe Mattler; Stimulus dependencies of an illusory motion: Investigations of the Motion Bridging Effect. Journal of Vision 2019;19(5):13. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/19.5.13.
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The Motion Bridging Effect (MBE) is an illusion in which a motion that is not consciously visible generates a visible motion aftereffect that is predominantly in the same direction as the adapter motion. In the initial study of the MBE (Mattler & Fendrich, 2010), a ring of 16 points was rotated at angular velocities as high as 2250°/s so that observers saw only an unbroken outline circle and performed at chance when asked to report the ring's rotation direction. However, when the rotating ring was replaced by a veridically stationary ring of 16 points, the stationary ring appeared to visibly spin to a halt, principally in the same direction as the initial ring's rotation. Here we continue to investigate the stimulus dependencies of the MBE. We find the MBE, measured by the correspondence between the direction of the invisible rotation of the spinning ring and perceived rotation of the stationary ring, increases as the number of points used to construct the rings decreases and grows stronger as the diameter of the rings get larger. We consider the potential contributions of temporal frequency, retinal eccentricity, luminance levels, and the separation between the points forming the rings as mediators of these effects. Data is discussed with regard to the detection of real movement and apparent motion. We conclude that the detection of the rapid rotation of the spinning ring is likely to be modulated by temporal frequency of luminance changes along the ring perimeter while the point-distance may modulate an apparent motion produced by the transition from the perceptually unbroken spinning ring to the point-defined stationary ring.
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