Pre-exposure to moving form enhances static form sensitivity

Thomas S A Wallis, Mark A. Williams, Derek H. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Motion-defined form can seem to persist briefly after motion ceases, before seeming to gradually disappear into the background. Here we investigate if this subjective persistence reflects a signal capable of improving objective measures of sensitivity to static form. Methodology/Principal Findings: We presented a sinusoidal modulation of luminance, masked by a background noise pattern. The sinusoidal luminance modulation was usually subjectively invisible when static, but visible when moving. We found that drifting then stopping the waveform resulted in a transient subjective persistence of the waveform in the static display. Observers' objective sensitivity to the position of the static waveform was also improved after viewing moving waveforms, compared to viewing static waveforms for a matched duration. This facilitation did not occur simply because movement provided more perspectives of the waveform, since performance following pre-exposure to scrambled animations did not match that following pre-exposure to smooth motion. Observers did not simply remember waveform positions at motion offset, since removing the waveform before testing reduced performance. Conclusions/Significance: Motion processing therefore interacts with subsequent static visual inputs in a way that can improve performance in objective sensitivity measures. We suggest that the brief subjective persistence of motion-defined forms that can occur after motion offsets is a consequence of the decay of a static form signal that has been transiently enhanced by motion processing.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere8324
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume4
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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