Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Not Just Your Imagination: Brain Perceives Optical Illusions As Real Motion

Date:
February 3, 2009
Source:
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
Summary:
Ever get a little motion sick from an illusion graphic designed to look like it's moving? A new study suggests that these illusions do more than trick the eye; they may also convince the brain that the graphic is actually moving.

It's not just your imagination: The brain perceives the concentric circles of the famous Rotating Snakes optical illusion as rotating, but the image is static.
Credit: Copyright A. Kitaoka 2003

Ever get a little motion sick from an illusion graphic designed to look like it's moving? A new study suggests that these illusions do more than trick the eye; they may also convince the brain that the graphic is actually moving.

Researchers in Japan, led by Akiyoshi Kitaoka of Kyoto's Ritsumeikan University, monitored brain activity as participants viewed the Rotating Snakes illusion, where concentric circles appear to rotate continuously (see below). The resulting article, Functional brain imaging of the Rotating Snakes illusion by fMRI, was recently published in the Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology's Journal of Vision as part of a collection of papers on neuroimaging in vision science.

Prior to the study, scientists believed illusions that simulated movement involved higher-level brain activity — the imagination. But this study found the illusion sparked brain activity generated by a bottom-up process in the visual cortex.

"This is the part of the brain that processes real physical movement," explained research team member Ichiro Kuriki, PhD (associate professor, Tohoku University). "The illusory motion percept is not just the observer's imagination."

The researchers compared levels of eye movements as participants watched the Rotating Snakes illusion. When participants moved their eyes while watching the illusion, the study reported higher activity in the motion-perception area of the brain.

Kuriki said the study has ramifications for makers of instrument panels for vehicles, aircraft and other forms of transportation. "Our findings could be important to the designers of such visual displays, as well as creators of multimedia content online or for film and television," he said.

A better understanding of motion perception can help designers avoid patterns that stimulate the motion-sensitive area in the cortex so users will not experience motion sickness or other discomfort.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. "Not Just Your Imagination: Brain Perceives Optical Illusions As Real Motion." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090202175202.htm>.
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. (2009, February 3). Not Just Your Imagination: Brain Perceives Optical Illusions As Real Motion. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 14, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090202175202.htm
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. "Not Just Your Imagination: Brain Perceives Optical Illusions As Real Motion." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090202175202.htm (accessed September 14, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) A study for University College London suggests obese people who are discriminated against gain more weight than those who are not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Common Sleeping, Anxiety Pills Linked To Alzheimer's

Common Sleeping, Anxiety Pills Linked To Alzheimer's

Newsy (Sep. 10, 2014) Researchers found commonly prescribed sleeping and anxiety pills such as Xanax and Valium could lead to an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease. 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