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Philippa Johnson, Sidney Davies, Hinze Hogendoorn; Motion extrapolation in the High-Phi illusion: Analogous but dissociable effects on perceived position and perceived motion. Journal of Vision 2020;20(13):8. https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.13.8.
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A range of visual illusions, including the much-studied flash-lag effect, demonstrate that neural signals coding for motion and position interact in the visual system. One interpretation of these illusions is that they are the consequence of motion extrapolation mechanisms in the early visual system. Here, we study the recently reported High-Phi illusion to investigate whether it might be caused by the same underlying mechanisms. In the High-Phi illusion, a rotating texture is abruptly replaced by a new, uncorrelated texture. This leads to the percept of a large illusory jump, which can be forward or backward depending on the duration of the initial motion sequence (the inducer). To investigate whether this motion illusion also leads to illusions of perceived position, in three experiments we asked observers to localize briefly flashed targets presented concurrently with the new texture. Our results replicate the original finding of perceived forward and backward jumps, and reveal an illusion of perceived position. Like the observed effects on illusory motion, these position shifts could be forward or backward, depending on the duration of the inducer: brief inducers caused forward mislocalization, and longer inducers caused backward mislocalization. Additionally, we found that both jumps and mislocalizations scaled in magnitude with the speed of the inducer. Interestingly, forward position shifts were observed at shorter inducer durations than forward jumps. We interpret our results as an interaction of extrapolation and correction-for-extrapolation, and discuss possible mechanisms in the early visual system that might carry out these computations.
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