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 after-effect, 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-mo-tion 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.
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