October 2020
Volume 20, Issue 11
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   October 2020
The “twinkle goes” illusion: Attention-dependent extrapolation of motion
Author Affiliations
  • Ryohei Nakayama
    National Institute of Information and Communications Technology
    The University of Sydney
  • Alex O. Holcombe
    The University of Sydney
Journal of Vision October 2020, Vol.20, 1020. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.1020
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      Ryohei Nakayama, Alex O. Holcombe; The “twinkle goes” illusion: Attention-dependent extrapolation of motion. Journal of Vision 2020;20(11):1020. https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.1020.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Although previous work shows that the location of the sudden disappearance of a moving object is typically perceived correctly, we find that on a dynamic noise background, using an alignment judgment task, the disappearance location is shifted in the direction of motion. This “twinkle goes” illusion requires the background to be dynamic noise immediately after the disappearance, but has little dependence on the luminance contrast of the moving object. In an experiment with nine observers, the magnitude of the perceptual shift increased linearly with object speed (2-36 deg/sec) with a slope that implies 56 ms (SE = 9) of extrapolation. An additional experiment revealed that when observers’ attention was divided between two moving objects, one of which was cued for judgment after the disappearance, the shift was eliminated. We propose that attentional tracking has an “inertia” which extends the perceived trajectory of a moving object unless it is captured by a luminance transient associated with an abrupt disappearance. The tracking inertia theory also predicts that on a dynamic noise background, the perceived location of the reversal of a moving object will not be shifted in the direction of initial motion. We will test this prediction.


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