09 January 2011

Motion obscures awareness of color changes

"Here, we show that objects changing in hue, luminance, size, or shape appear to stop changing when they move." 

If you focus your eyes on the center of the video, you can see the dots on the periphery change color, but when the ring of dots begin to rotate, their changing of color becomes less apparent - a phenomenon referred to as motion-induced silencing.

From the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, as reported in the abstract at Current Biology, via Neatorama.


  1. I think the eye expects luminance and color changes when something starts rotating. If you rotate anything in natural light (especially direct light), you are going to see changes in shade, light, and many things have color changing properties.

    The brain probably just picks out ones that don't match with the others or that it finds impossible to occur naturally.

  2. I don't know. I could see the changes quite naturally.

    I don't think it is comparing apples and apples when they actually SLOWED DOWN the changes. I think the quick changes in the stationary mode program the eye and brain to expect quick changes in the rotating mode, too. When I paused the whole thing at the beginning of the rotating and then restarted, the changes were easier to see.


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