A visual illusion that influences perception and action through the dorsal pathway

C. de la Malla, E. Brenner, Edward H. F. de Haan, Jeroen B. J. Smeets

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


There are two main anatomically and physiologically defined visual pathways connecting the primary visual cortex with higher visual areas: the ventral and the dorsal pathway. The influential two-visual-systems hypothesis postulates that visual attributes are analyzed differently for different functions: in the dorsal pathway visual information is analyzed to guide actions, whereas in the ventral pathway visual information is analyzed for perceptual judgments. We here show that a person who cannot identify objects due to an extensive bilateral ventral brain lesion is able to judge the velocity at which an object moves. Moreover, both his velocity judgements and his interceptive actions are as susceptible to a motion illusion as those of people without brain lesions. These findings speak in favor of the idea that dorsal structures process information about attributes such as velocity, irrespective of whether such information is used for perceptual judgments or to guide actions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number38
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalCommunications biology
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2019


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