For a study, researchers sought to determine whether illusory apparent motion (IAM), a novel polystable illusion, is sensitive to subjective perceptual control, as demonstrated in previous polystable stimuli (e.g., the Necker cube, apparent motion quartets).
Previous research has shown that, while IAM shares certain qualities with other polystable stimuli, it also has some unique properties that make it unclear whether it should be susceptible to subjective control. IAM, for example, can be sensed in an infinite variety of motion patterns and directions (e.g., up-down, left-right, contracting-expanding, shear, diagonal). In experiment 1 (n=99), where participants were primed with various motion patterns and given instructions to control (hold, change, or signal when the motion pattern changes), they employed a motion persistence paradigm to investigate the perceptual control of IAM. Experiment 2 (n=76), which builds on experiment 1, examined whether participants can control how they perceive IAM in a situation without priming while dynamically reporting their perceptions throughout the trial.
The experiment more closely aligned the methodology with prior subjective control research. Results from the two trials show that individuals could regulate how they saw IAM in different scenarios. Finally, they examined the consequences of these findings, the stated tactics, and the unanswered issues for further study.