The neural basis of the Enigma illusion: a transcranial magnetic stimulation study

Ruzzoli, Manuela, Gori, Simone, Pavan, Andrea , Pirulli, Cornelia, Marzi, Carlo A. and Miniussi, Carlo (2011) The neural basis of the Enigma illusion: a transcranial magnetic stimulation study. Neuropsychologia, 49 (13). pp. 3648-3655. ISSN 0028-3932

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The aim of this study was to test the role of the visual primary (V1) and the middle temporal area (V5/MT) in the illusory motion perception evoked by the Enigma figure. The Enigma figure induces a visual illusion that is characterized by apparent rotatory motion in the presence of a static figure. By means of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) we show that V5/MT is causally linked to the illusory perception of motion. When rTMS was applied bilaterally over V5/MT just prior to presentation of the Enigma figure, the perception of illusory motion was disrupted for approximately 400 ms resulting in a delayed illusion onset. In contrast, rTMS applied over V1 did not have any effect on the illusory perception of motion. These results show that V5/MT, a visual cortical area associated with real motion perception, is also important for the perception of illusory motion, while V1 appears not to be functionally involved in illusory motion perception.

Keywords:Enigma figure, Motion illusion, Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), V1, MT
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C830 Experimental Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:16321
Deposited On:20 Dec 2014 21:50

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