Paper in Journal of Vision
  • Apthorp, D. and Alais, D. (2009) Tilt aftereffects and tilt illusions induced by fast translational motion: Evidence for motion streaks. Journal of Vision, 9(1): 27, 1-11.

    ABSTRACT
    Fast-moving visual features are thought to leave neural 'streaks' that can be detected by orientation-selective cells. Here, we tested whether 'motion streaks' can induce classic tilt aftereffects (TAEs) and tilt illusions (TIs). For TAEs, participants adapted to random arrays of small Gaussian blobs drifting at 9.5 deg/s. Following adaptation to directions of 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90 degrees (clockwise from vertical) subjective vertical was measured for a briefly presented test grating. For TIs, the same motions were presented in an annular surround and subjective vertical was measured for a simultaneously presented central grating. All motions were 50% coherent, with half the blobs following random-walk paths and half following a fixed direction. Strong and weak streaks were compared by varying streak length (the number of fixed-walk frames), rather than by manipulating speed, so that speed and coherence were matched in all conditions. Strong motion streaks produced robust TAEs and TIs, similar in magnitude and orientation tuning to those induced by tilted lines. These effects were weak or absent in weak streak conditions, and when motion was too slow to form streaks. Together, these results indicate that motion streaks produced by temporal integration of fast translating features do effectively adapt orientation-selective cells and may therefore be exploited to improve perception of motion direction as described in the 'motion streaks' model.