Illusory displacement of equiluminous kinetic edges

Perception. 1990;19(5):611-6. doi: 10.1068/p190611.


A stationary window was cut out of a stationary random-dot pattern. When a field of dots was moved continuously behind the window (a) the window appeared to move in the same direction even though it was stationary, (b) the position of the 'kinetic edges' defining the window was also displaced along the direction of dot motion, and (c) the edges of the window tended to fade on steady fixation even though the dots were still clearly visible. The illusory displacement was enhanced considerably if the kinetic edge was equiluminous and if the 'window' region was seen as 'figure' rather than 'ground'. Since the extraction of kinetic edges probably involves the use of direction-selective cells, the illusion may provide insights into how the visual system uses the output of these cells to localize the kinetic edges.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Attention
  • Discrimination Learning
  • Form Perception*
  • Humans
  • Light*
  • Motion Perception*
  • Optical Illusions*
  • Orientation*
  • Perceptual Masking
  • Psychophysics
  • Size Perception