Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Continuing Commentary
Commentary on T. A. Stoffregen & B. G. Bardy (2001). On specification and the senses. BBS 24(2):195–261.

On the subject of perceptual illusions, and the ambiguity of perceptual information

Arve Vorland Pedersen a1 and Hermundur Sigmundsson a2
a1 Department of Physiotherapy, Sør-Trøndelag University College, N-7004 Trondheim, Norway
a2 Faculty of Social Sciences and Technology Management, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway


Stoffregen & Bardy (S&B) make the point that the statement “I am moving” made by subjects in a “swinging room” cannot be explained as an illusion of motion, and there is thus no perceptual illusion. In this they are correct. There is in fact motion, but of the environment. We argue that the subjects misinterpret this because the information to the visual system is ambiguous and also deceiving.