Winawer et al. (2008)

A Motion Aftereffect From Still Photographs Depicting Motion

Jonathan Winawer, Alexander C. Huk, and Lera Boroditsky


“A photograph of an action can convey a vivid sense of motion. Does the inference of motion from viewing a photograph involve the same neural and psychological representations used when one views physical motion? In this study, we tested whether implied motion is represented by the same direction-selective signals involved in the perception of real motion. We made use of the motion aftereffect, a visual motion illusion. Three experiments showed that viewing a series of static photographs with implied motion in a particular direction produced motion aftereffects in the opposite direction, as assessed with real-motion test probes. The transfer of adaptation from motion depicted in photographs to real motion demonstrates that the perception of implied motion activates direction-selective circuits that are also involved in processing real motion.” Winawer et al. (2008)

 Relation To Present Research

Winawer et al. (2008) argued that high-level cues about body movement generate neural activity in the temporal lobe which is fed back to lower-level processes which mediate the MAE. If this ‘cross-talk’ explanation is correct, it is a highly significant demonstration of how responses to socially relevant stimuli can modulate processing at lower levels of visual analysis in the cortex, reinforcing the view of the brain as a social organ. However, simple static form information, namely tilted contours (often present in implied motion images), can also modulate motion adaptation (Mather et al., 2012). The proposed experiments are designed to resolve this issue.

Winawer, J., Huk, A. C., & Boroditsky, L. (2008). A motion aftereffect from still photographs depicting motion. Psychological Science, 19(3), 276-83.

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