Neuromagnetic evoked responses to complex motions are greatest for expansion

Ian E. Holliday, Timothy S. Meese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We analysed evoked magnetic responses to moving random dot stimuli, initially using a 19-channel magnetoencephalography (MEG) system, and subsequently using a 151-channel MEG system. Random dot displays were used to construct complex motion sequences, which we refer to as expansion, contraction, deformation, and rotation. We also investigated lateral translation and a condition in which the directions of the dots were randomised. In all stimulus conditions, the dots were first stationary, then traveled for a brief period (317s or 542 ms), and were then stationary again. In all conditions, evoked magnetic responses were observed with a widespread bilateral distribution over the observers' heads. Initial recordings revealed a substantially larger evoked magnetic response to the expansion condition than the other conditions. In a revised study, we used a 151-channel MEG system and two stimulus diameters (9.3 and 48 deg), the smaller comparable with the first experiment. The responses were analysed using a nonparametric approach and confirmed our initial observations. In a third study, speed gradients were removed and a new design permitted direct comparisons between motion conditions. The results from all three experiments are consistent with the greater ecological validity of the expansion stimulus. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-157
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005


  • evoked potentials
  • human vision
  • motion perception
  • optic flow


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