Adaptation to biological motion leads to a motion and a form aftereffect.

Research paper by Stefanie S Theusner, Marc H E MH de Lussanet, Markus M Lappe

Indexed on: 21 May '11Published on: 21 May '11Published in: Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics


Recent models have proposed a two-stage process of biological motion recognition. First, template or snapshot neurons estimate the body form. Then, motion is estimated from body form change. This predicts separate aftereffects for body form and body motion. We tested this prediction. Observers viewing leftward- or rightward-facing point-light walkers that walked forward or backward subsequently experienced oppositely directed aftereffects in stimuli ambiguous in the facing or the walking direction. These aftereffects did not originate from adaptation to the motion of the individual light points, because they occurred for limited-lifetime stimuli that restrict local motion. They also occurred when the adaptor displayed a random sequence of body postures that did not induce the walking motion percept. We thus conclude that biological motion gives rise to separate form and motion aftereffects and that body form representations are involved in biological motion perception.