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

Ruzzoli, M. , Gori, S., Pavan, A., Pirulli, C., Marzi, C. A. and Miniussi, C. (2011) The neural basis of the Enigma illusion: a transcranial magnetic stimulation study. Neuropsychologia, 49(13), pp. 3648-3655. (doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.09.020) (PMID:21952193)

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Abstract

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.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research work was supported by the Italian Ministry of University and Research and by the Ministry of Health.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ruzzoli, Dr Manuela
Authors: Ruzzoli, M., Gori, S., Pavan, A., Pirulli, C., Marzi, C. A., and Miniussi, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Neuropsychologia
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0028-3932
ISSN (Online):0028-3932
Published Online:19 September 2011

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