Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

200-year-old Scientific Debate Involving Visual Illusions Solved

Date:
November 27, 2008
Source:
St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center
Summary:
Neuroscientists have discovered a direct link between eye motions and the perception of illusory motion that solves a 200-year-old debate.

Neuroscientists at Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center have discovered a direct link between eye motions and the perception of illusory motion that solves a 200-year-old debate.

Stephen Macknik, PhD, director of the Laboratory of Behavioral Neurophysiology; Susana Martinez-Conde, PhD, director of the Laboratory of Visual Neuroscience; Xoana G. Troncoso, PhD; and Jorge Otero-Millan; conducted a study based on the Enigma painting, a visual illusion in which rotational motion is seen within a stationary image. The artwork has been at the center of a debate over whether the brain or the eye is behind the perception of illusory motion.

Dr. Martinez-Conde's laboratory recently discovered that microsaccades, a small, unconscious eye movement that occurs when humans fixate their eyes, are critical to normal vision. The team of scientists conducted the Enigma study to see if microsaccades are also behind the perception of this illusion. Based on their study, the hypothesis suggesting the illusion originates solely in the brain was ruled out.

Participants in the study observed the Enigma illusion while their eye movements were simultaneously recorded with high precision cameras. Microsaccade rates increased before the illusionary motion sped up and decreased before the motion slowed, revealing a direct link between the eye movements and the illusion.

"We have discovered that this illusion originates with eye movements and not solely the brain as previously thought," says Dr. Martinez-Conde. "The findings from the study could help design future prosthetics for patients with brain damage or brain lesions that affect the perception of motion."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. "200-year-old Scientific Debate Involving Visual Illusions Solved." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081120183733.htm>.
St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. (2008, November 27). 200-year-old Scientific Debate Involving Visual Illusions Solved. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081120183733.htm
St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. "200-year-old Scientific Debate Involving Visual Illusions Solved." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081120183733.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins