The Cardinal Edge


The motion aftereffect causes a visual stimulus to undergo apparent motion. An adapting stimulus, which moves in a specific direction, adapts motion-responsive neurons in the middle temporal area (V5) to that direction of motion. Viewing a second stimulus, a test stimulus, produces apparent motion in the direction opposite that of the initial stimulus. Neural networks involved in attention and working memory are also implicated in the motion aftereffect. There is still little known regarding the mechanisms of the motion aftereffect, despite extensive documentation in the literature. This review discusses established knowledge of the motion aftereffect, focusing primarily on the middle temporal area. Variants of the motion aftereffect that are in line with the established mechanism with be discussed, namely the phantom motion aftereffect and sensory-contingent motion aftereffects, which incorporate color and visual surroundings into the production of the motion aftereffect. This optical illusion provides insight into motion processing as well as memory.