Fractal rotation isolates mechanisms for form-dependent motion in human vision

C.P. Benton, M.D. O'Brien, William Curran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Here, we describe a motion stimulus in which the quality of rotation is fractal. This makes its motion unavailable to the translationbased motion analysis known to underlie much of our motion perception. In contrast, normal rotation can be extracted through the aggregation of the outputs of translational mechanisms. Neural adaptation of these translation-based motion mechanisms is thought to drive the motion after-effect, a phenomenon in which prolonged viewing of motion in one direction leads to a percept of motion in the opposite direction. We measured the motion after-effects induced in static and moving stimuli by fractal rotation. The after-effects found were an order of magnitude smaller than those elicited by normal rotation. Our findings suggest that the analysis of fractal rotation involves different neural processes than those for standard translational motion. Given that the percept of motion elicited by fractal rotation is a clear example of motion derived from form analysis, we propose that the extraction of fractal rotation may reflect the operation of a general mechanism for inferring motion from changes in form.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-308
Number of pages3
JournalBiology Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)


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