Illusory motion perception in migraine
AffiliationOptometry and Vision Sciences
Document TypeMasters Research thesis
Access StatusThis item is embargoed and will be available on 2021-09-16. This item is currently available to University of Melbourne staff and students only, login required.
© 2019 Chongyue He
In between attacks, people with migraine report experiencing both visual discomfort and visual illusions induced by stationary high contrast striped patterns. Since both visual illusion and discomfort have been assessed through largely qualitative self-report, it is unclear how their mechanisms might be related with each other. This thesis aimed to investigate whether subjective reports of visual discomfort in people with migraine are associated with the strength of a motion illusion outside attacks. To determine the stimulus for motion illusion strength to be quantified, Experiment 1 measured the physical motion speeds that cancelled the illusory motion effect of five variants of the Fraser-Wilcox illusion in people who do not experience headache. The stimulus type that produced the most robust illusory motion was chosen for subsequent experiments. Experiment 2 compared the motion illusion strength between people with migraine with aura, people with migraine without aura, and non-headache control participants. The relationship between motion illusion strength and self-reported frequency of experiencing visual discomfort in daily life was also investigated. The results indicated that subjective visual discomfort was elevated in people with migraine with aura but that visual discomfort was not accompanied by greater motion illusion strength. These findings suggest that susceptibility to daily visual discomfort is not related to perceived speed of the motion illusion. Experiment 3 investigated whether motion illusion strength is associated with contrast discrimination threshold and motion sensitivity regardless of migraine status. The results revealed that people with better contrast discrimination, but not motion sensitivity, tended to perceive faster motion illusions. The findings of this thesis verify previous self-reports of increased visual discomfort in people with migraine. The experiments, however, do not support that this self-reported experience is derived from differences in contrast discrimination or motion sensitivity, for the types of stimuli used herein. The Fraser-Wilcox motion illusion does not seem to test the same mechanisms as involved in self-reported visual discomfort.
Keywordsmigraine; motion illusion; visual discomfort; contrast discrimination; motion sensitivity
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