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Perceptual Stability of a Stroboscopically Lit Visual Field containing Self-Luminous Objects


IT is a familiar observation that when the retinal image is displaced as a result of an externally forced rotation of the eyeball (for example, by light sideways pressure with the finger), the visual world appears to move; whereas when the same rotation is produced voluntarily the visual world remains stable. This stability is often attributed to some (as yet unknown) process by which the effects of retinal change are thought to be accurately compensated or cancelled out during voluntary movement.

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  1. 1

    MacKay, D. M., “Some Perceptual Problems in Terms of Information Flow”: paper read at the Cambridge Conference on Thinking, 1955. A development of the theory was presented at the 15th International Congress of Psychology, August 1957, under the title “The Stability of the Visual World during Voluntary Activity”, and will be published shortly.

  2. 2

    MacKay, D. M., Nature, 180, 849 (1957).

  3. 3

    MacKay, D. M., Brit. J. Psychol., 47, 30 (1956).

  4. 4

    MacKay, D. M., Brit. J. Phil. Sci., 2, 114 (1951); cf. von Holst, E., Brit. J. Animal Behav., 2, 89 (1954).

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