Motion Induced Blindness

Yoram Bonneh, Alexander Cooperman and Dov Sagi

October 2000

Last Updated: June 2001.


Motion Induced Blindness (MIB) is a phenomenon of "visual disappearance" in which salient visual stimuli disappear as if erased in front of the observers eyes. This demo demonstrates several properties of the MIB. It is implemented as a set of GIF animation and can only be appreciated if the apparent motion appears smooth or almost smooth. In general, fixate in the center or lower part of the screen without moving the eyes, pay attention to the moving pattern and observe what happens to the static yellow dots. For better results, download an executable version of the demo, available for Linux x86 and Windows systems. The demo is best perceived in the dark. >


Basic effect 

Target luminance: Low, High 

Target movement:  Slow, Fast 

Target dynamics:  Flicker, Local rotation

Target size

The spatial extent: "Protection zones"

Mask properties:  3D slow,  2D,  1D, Noise, Few dots

Gestalt Effects

Contour smoothness:  Smooth, Jagged 

Proximity:  High,  Low 

Object competition:  Ellipses,  Triangles 

Gabor competition & cooperation:  Collinear,  Orthogonal 

More info...


Download demo

Executable for Windows (405K)

The downloadable demo is an executable (not an installation package) that implements the same parts listed above. It runs without reading or writing any files. The demo was tested on Windows 95/98 and Windows 2000, with 24 and 16 bit color (doesn't work with 256 colors). Note that on some systems, the title text in each page might look flickering, but this should not disrupt the effect. When running, use left/right mouse buttons to toggle between demo parts, up/down arrow keys to speed up/down the mask, and Escape to exit. The effect is best visible in the dark.  

Executable for x86 Linux (2.85MB) (use Shift-Select)

The demo was tested on RedHat Linux 6.2 in true color (24 bit) mode, but should probably work in other modes and Linux x86 versions. For download, hold the shift key and select. After download, use chmod +x, to make it executable. When running, use mouse left/right buttons to toggle between demo parts and up/down arrow keys to speed up/down the mask. The effect is best visible in the dark.


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