Unseen complex motion is modulated by attention and generates a visible aftereffect

Lisandro Kaunitz, Alessio Fracasso, David Melcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The relationship between attention and awareness and the processing of visual information outside of attention and awareness remain controversial issues. We employed the motion aftereffect (MAE) illusion and continuous flash suppression (CFS) to study the behavioral effects of unseen and unattended visual motion. The main finding was that either withdrawal of attention or the lack of visual awareness on the adaptors did not eliminate the formation of translational MAEs, spiral MAEs, or the interocular transfer of the MAE. However, no spiral MAE was generated when attention was diverted from the unseen spiral adaptors. Interestingly, all MAEs that arose in the absence of awareness or in the absence of attention were reduced in size. The pattern of results is consistent with suggestions that the magnitude of visual motion adaptation depends on both attention and awareness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10
JournalJournal of vision
Issue number13
StatePublished - 2011


  • Attention
  • Binocular vision
  • Masking
  • Motion-2D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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