Joseph R. Pauszek



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Motion-induced blindness occurs when an unchanging part of the visual field that is stationary relative to the fovea perceptually disappears when, in fact, the stimulus is still present. It was originally thought to be related to the fact that a target stimulus is stationary while other objects in the visual field are uniformly moving, hence the name of the phenomenon. However, it has since been established that motion, per se, is not necessary for motion-induced blindness to occur and that motion-induced blindness can occur in the presence of any type of uniform change, such as a collection of lights getting brighter or darker in unison while a target stimulus does not change in terms of brightness. Numerous explanations have been proposed regarding why motion-induced blindness occurs and many of these theories suggest a framework of perceptual processing through which the visual and attentional systems of the brain operate in such conditions. The current study aimed to investigate motion-induced blindness in the instance of visual displays that exhibited either random change or no change at all. In addition, the current study aimed to investigate potential differences in the duration of motion-induced blindness experienced on the basis of different colors used in the background stimulus of the visual displays. Results have shown that the perceptual disappearance of the target is significantly affected by the color of the background stimulus and that it can occur in both randomly changing and completely static visual displays. These findings have led to implications for leading theories of motion-induced blindness and other similar perceptual phenomena, as well. The implications of the current study can also be extended to the phenomenon of perceptual filling-in (which is also referred to as perceptual fading or the Troxler Effect), as the two phenomena are reportedly elicited by the same underlying mechanism.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Greg Elvers

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project


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Its Snowing: A New Outlook on Motion-Induced Blindness