Motion distorts visual space: shifting the perceived position of remote stationary objects

Nat Neurosci. 2000 Sep;3(9):954-9. doi: 10.1038/78878.


To perceive the relative positions of objects in the visual field, the visual system must assign locations to each stimulus. This assignment is determined by the object's retinal position, the direction of gaze, eye movements, and the motion of the object itself. Here we show that perceived location is also influenced by motion signals that originate in distant regions of the visual field. When a pair of stationary lines are flashed, straddling but not overlapping a rotating radial grating, the lines appear displaced in a direction consistent with that of the grating's motion, even when the lines are a substantial distance from the grating. The results indicate that motion's influence on position is not restricted to the moving object itself, and that even the positions of stationary objects are coded by mechanisms that receive input from motion-sensitive neurons.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Space Perception / physiology*
  • Visual Pathways / cytology
  • Visual Pathways / physiology*