Asynchronous processing in vision: Color leads motion

Derek H. Arnold*, Colin W G Clifford, Peter Wenderoth

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    86 Citations (Scopus)


    It has been demonstrated that subjects do not report changes in color and direction of motion as being co-incidental when they occur synchronously. Instead, for the changes to be reported as being synchronous, changes in direction of motion must precede changes in color. To explain this observation, some researchers have suggested that the neural processing of color and motion is asynchronous. This interpretation has been criticized on the basis that processing time may not correlate directly and invariantly with perceived time of occurrence. Here we examine this possibility by making use of the color-contingent motion aftereffect. By correlating color states disproportionately with two directions of motion, we produced and measured color-contingent motion aftereffects as a function of the range of physical correlations. The aftereffects observed are consistent with the perceptual correlation between color and motion being different from the physical correlation. These findings demonstrate asynchronous processing for different stimulus attributes, with color being processed more quickly than motion. This suggests that the time course of perceptual experience correlates directly with that of neural activity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)596-600
    Number of pages5
    JournalCurrent Biology
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2001


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