Global motion aftereffect does not depend on awareness of the adapting motion direction

Lap Fai, Alan LEE, Hongjing LU

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


It has been shown that humans cannot perceive more than three directions from a multidirectional motion stimulus. However, it remains unknown whether adapting to such imperceptible motion directions could generate motion aftereffects (MAEs). A series of psychophysical experiments were conducted to address this issue. Using a display consisting of randomly oriented Gabors, we replicated previous findings that observers were unable to perceive the global directions embedded in a five-direction motion pattern. However, adapting to this multidirectional pattern induced both static and dynamic MAEs, despite the fact that observers were unaware of any global motion directions during adaptation. Furthermore, by comparing the strengths of the dynamic MAEs induced at different levels of motion processing, we found that spatial integration of local illusory signals per se was sufficient to produce a significant global MAE. These psychophysical results show that the generation of a directional global MAE does not require conscious perception of the global motion during adaptation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)766-779
Number of pages14
JournalAttention, Perception, and Psychophysics
Issue number3
Early online date16 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This research is supported by NSF Grant No. BCS-0843880.


  • Adaptation
  • Aftereffects
  • Motion integration
  • Visual awareness


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