Assimilation and contrast in motion perception: Explorations in cooperativity

Mark Nawrot, Robert Sekuler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


Motions within one region of the field influence motion seen elsewhere. To explore this phenomenon we used cinematograms comprised of alternating strips within which dots (i) tended to move in one direction, or (ii) moved in random directions (dynamic noise). When alternating strips were narrow, motion in one direction induced a similar direction of illusory motion in the adjoining dynamic noise (assimilation); when alternating strips were wide, motion tended to induce an illusory opposed motion in the dynamic noise (contrast). Since this illusory motion exhibits hysteresis, it probably results from spatially distributed, cooperative processes. The shift from assimilation to contrast, as the cinematogram's strips increase in size, suggests that facilitatory and inhibitory influences of the network extend over different distances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1439-1451
Number of pages13
JournalVision research
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Motion perception Induced motion Cooperativity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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