Strong influence of test patterns on the perception of motion aftereffect and position

Fang Fang, Sheng He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


In a completely linear system, the behavior of a square wave pattern can be predicted by its sinusoidal components. However, we observed a complete breakdown of the linear system prediction in the perception of the motion aftereffect (MAE). The duration of the MAE was measured following a one-minute adaptation to a rotating radial grating. Three different luminance patterns were used for both the adaptation and test stimulus: (1) sine wave, (2) square wave, and (3) complex grating with the same Fourier amplitude spectrum as the square wave, but with randomized phases. The sine wave stimulus generated the highest magnitude MAE, followed by the random-phase complex grating, and lastly the square wave grating. To test whether the square wave grating is a weak adaptor or a weak test for the MAE, we performed a cross adaptation experiment in which the sine wave, square wave, and complex gratings were paired in seven ways. Results show that the strength of the MAE critically depended on the test pattern. Regardless of the adaptor, MAE strength is in a decreasing order with the test pattern as sine wave grating, complex grating, and square wave grating. Further experiments ruled out the possibility that differential MAEs between these conditions are due to different peak contrasts in these patterns. Additionally, the MAE from a square wave grating as the test pattern is not accompanied by a significant concurrent shift in the apparent position. Linear system theory cannot predict the magnitude of the MAE using complex gratings. The spatial features of a test stimulus, such as position reliability or luminance uniformity, strongly influence the magnitude of MAE. Sharp edges and local luminance uniformity can greatly reduce MAE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)637-642
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of vision
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 5 2004


  • Adaptation
  • Linear system
  • Motion aftereffect
  • Position
  • Spatial pattern


Dive into the research topics of 'Strong influence of test patterns on the perception of motion aftereffect and position'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this