The inverse intensity effect is not lost with stimuli in apparent motion

Vision Res. 1993 Aug;33(12):1697-708. doi: 10.1016/0042-6989(93)90035-u.


The inverse relationship between the visible persistence of a briefly presented stimulus and its intensity is well established for static displays. However, with non-static displays, this relationship is only partially reported by previous studies. In order to clarify this topic, we investigated the effect of luminance on the visible persistence of a stimulus in apparent motion. Assuming that persistence duration is a normally distributed random variable, we studied whether the mean persistence of a stimulus could be systematically varied by varying its luminance. Our paradigm permits evaluation of this effect without changing the temporal interval between two successive presentations of the stimulus, thus avoiding the potential influence of this latter factor on persistence. Our results show that the inverse intensity effect still occurs at each of the successive locations of a stimulus in apparent motion. In addition, we provide evidence that increasing the spatial separation between the successive presentations, and decreasing the background luminance, result both in longer persistence duration. Altogether, these findings favour the hypothesis that persistence is actively suppressed by inhibitory interactions between adjacent neural zones.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Afterimage / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Light
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Sensory Thresholds / physiology
  • Time Factors