Psychological Research

, Volume 51, Issue 2, pp 58–68 | Cite as

Max Wertheimer on seen motion: Theory and evidence

  • Viktor Sarris
Article

Summary

Max Wertheimer, the chief founder of an experimentally based Gestalt psychology, conducted his pioneering studies in motion perception on new theoretical grounds. Since the influence of this approach may be greater in today's cognitive psychology than it has ever been during the half-century of introspectionism and radical behaviorism, it is appropriate to review the actual roots of Wertheimer's (1912) seminal publication and his continuing research on apparent and real motion perception in the light of past and recent work. Illustrative examples, especially of Wertheimer's early research, are provided in this paper. The implications of his experimentation and biopsychological theorizing are still of major interest for present psychological inquiry. Nevertheless, the need for more future systematic comparative research on motion perception must be emphasized. The Epilogue of this paper examines why important parts of Wertheimer's experimental contributions to psychology may have been underrated or neglected by many contemporary psychologists.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Aarons, L. (1964). Visual apparent movement research: Review 1935–1955 and bibliography 1955–1963. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 18, 239–274.Google Scholar
  2. Anstis, S. M. (1978). Apparent movement. In R. H. Held, H. W. Leibowitz, & H.-L. Teuber (Eds.), Handbook of sensory physiology (Vol. 8): Perception. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  3. Anstis, S. M. (1986). Motion perception in the frontal plane: Sensory aspects. In K. R. Boff, L. Kaufmann, & J. P. Thomas (Eds.), Handbook of perception and human performance (Vol. 1): Sensory processes and perception. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  4. Asch, S. E. (1946). Max Wertheimer's contribution to modern psychology. Social Research, 13, 81–102.Google Scholar
  5. Aslin, R. N., & Smith, L. B. (1988). Perceptual development. Annual Review of Psychology, 39, 435–473.Google Scholar
  6. Békésy, G. von, (1960). Experiments in hearing. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  7. Bender, M. B., & Teuber, H.-L. (1949). Disturbances in visual perception following cerebral lesions. Journal of Psychology, 28, 223–233.Google Scholar
  8. Beniuc, M. (1933). Bewegungssehen, Verschmelzung und Moment bei Kampffischen. Zeitschrift für vergleichende Physiologie, 19, 724–746.Google Scholar
  9. Boring, E. G. (1942). Sensation and perception in the history of experimental psychology. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
  10. Bredenkamp, J., & Sarris, V. (1987). Psychophysics today: Contemporary research in the Fed. Rep. of Germany. German Journal of Psychology, 11, 179–197.Google Scholar
  11. Breitmeyer, B. G. (1984). Visual masking: An integrative approach. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Breitmeyer, B. G., & Ritter, A. (1986). Visual persistence and the effect of eccentric viewing, element size, and frame duration on bistable stroboscopic motion percepts. Perception and Psychophysics, 39, 275–280.Google Scholar
  13. Bunge, M. (1978). The limits of science. Epistemologia, 1, 11–32. (Reprinted 1980 in the Physiologist, 23, 7–13.)Google Scholar
  14. Bunge, M. (1987). Neurobiology. In M. Bunge & R. Ardila, Philosophy of psychology, chap. 7. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  15. Christian, P., & von Weizsäcker, V. (1943). Über das Sehen figurierter Bewegungen von Lichtpunkten. Zeitschrift für Sinnesphysiologie, 70, 30–51.Google Scholar
  16. Coser, L. A. (1984). Refugee scholars in America: Their impact and their experiences. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Dominguez, K. E. (1954). A study of visual illusions in the monkey. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 85, 105–127.Google Scholar
  18. Doré, F. C., & Dumas, C. (1987). Psychology of animal cognition: Piagetian studies. Psychological Bulletin, 102, 219–233.Google Scholar
  19. Duncker, K. (1929). Über induzierte Bewegung. Psychologische Forschung, 12, 180–259.Google Scholar
  20. Fuchs, W. (1920). Untersuchung über das Sehen der Hemianopiker und Hemiamblyopiker. Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 84, 67–169.Google Scholar
  21. Gallistel, C. R. (1989). Animal cognition: The representation of space, time and number. Annual Review of Psychology, 40, 155–189.Google Scholar
  22. Gelb, A. (1914). Versuche auf dem Gebiete der Raum- und Zeitauffassung. In F. Schumann (Ed.), Bericht über den VI. Kongress für experimentelle Psychologie in Göttingen 1914. Leipzig: Barth.Google Scholar
  23. Glünder, H. (1986a). Neural computation of inter geometric pattern relations. Biological Cybernetics, 55, 239–251.Google Scholar
  24. Glünder, H. (1986b). On functional concepts for the explanation of visual pattern recognition. Human Neurobiology, 5, 37–47.Google Scholar
  25. Graham, C. H. (1951). Visual perception. In S. S. Stevens (Ed.), Handbook of experimental psychology. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  26. Grünau, M. W. von (1987). Stimulus configurations and questions inspired by Max Wertheimer. Poster presented at the Max Wertheimer Memorial Exhibition, Frankfurt/M., Oct. 12–20, 1987, and New York, Oct. 10–20, 1988.Google Scholar
  27. Grüsser, O.-J., & Grüsser, U. (1973). Neuronal mechanisms of visual movement perception and some psychophysical and behavioral correlations. In R. Jung (Ed.), Handbook of sensory physiology (Vol. 7/3): Central processing of visual information. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  28. Harrower, M. (1983). Kurt Koffka — an unwitting self-portrait. Gainesville, Fl: University Presses of Florida.Google Scholar
  29. Hatfield, G., & Epstein, W. (1985). The status of the minimum principle in the theoretical analysis of visual perception. Psychological Bulletin, 97, 155–186.Google Scholar
  30. Herrnstein, R., & Boring, E. G. (1966). A source book in the history of psychology. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Hochberg, J. E. (1957). Effects of the Gestalt revolution: The Cornell symposium on perception. Psychological Review, 64, 73–84.Google Scholar
  32. Hochberg, J. E. (1986). Representation of motion and space in video and cinematic displays. In K. R. Boff, L. Kaufmann, & J. P. Thomas (Eds.), Handbook of perception and human performance (Vol. 1): Sensory processes and perception. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  33. Hochberg, J. E. (1987). Gestalt theory. In R. L. Gregory (Ed.), The Oxford companion to the mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Höfert, J., & Sarris, V. (1988). Psychophysikalische Modellanalysen der zeitlichen Faktoren figuraler Nachwirkungen im Kurzzeitbereich. In W. Schönpflug (Ed.), Bericht über den 36. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie Berlin 1988 (Vol. 1), pp. 76–77. Göttingen: Hogrefe.Google Scholar
  35. Hornbostel, E. M. von, & Wertheimer, M. (1920). Über die Wahrnehmung der Schallrichtung. Sitzungsberichte der preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Berlin. 20, 388–396.Google Scholar
  36. Jones, B., & Huang, Y. L. (1982). Space-time dependencies in psychophysical judgment of extent and duration: Algebraic models of the tau and kappa effects. Psychological Bulletin, 91, 128–142.Google Scholar
  37. Koffka, K. (1919). Zur Theorie einfachster gesehener Bewegungen: Ein physiologisch-mathematischer Versuch. Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 82, 257–292.Google Scholar
  38. Koffka, K. (1922). Perception: An introduction to the Gestalt-Theorie. Psychological Bulletin, 19, 531–585.Google Scholar
  39. Koffka, K. (1931). Die Wahrnehmung von Bewegung. In A. Bethe (Ed.), Handbuch der normalen und pathologischen Physiologie (Vol. 12/2). Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  40. Koffka, K. (1935). Principles of Gestalt psychology. New York: Harcourt.Google Scholar
  41. Köhler, W. (1920). Die physischen Gestalten in Ruhe und im stationären Zustand: Eine naturphilosophische Untersuchung. Braunschweig: Vieweg.Google Scholar
  42. Kolers, P. A. (1972). Aspects of motion perception. New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  43. Korte, A. (1915). Kinematoskopische Untersuchungen. Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 72, 193–226.Google Scholar
  44. Krolik, W. (1935). Über Erfahrungswirkungen beim Bewegungssehen. Psychologische Forschung, 20, 47–101.Google Scholar
  45. Livingstone, M., & Hubel, D. (1988). Segregation of form, color, movement, and depth: Anatomy, physiology, and perception. Science, 240, 740–749.Google Scholar
  46. Luchins, A. S., & Luchins, E. H. (1986). Wertheimer in Frankfurt: 1929–1933. Gestalt Theory, 8, 204–224.Google Scholar
  47. Metzger, W. (1934). Beobachtungen über phänomenale Identität. Psychologische Forschung, 19, 1–60.Google Scholar
  48. Metzger, W. (1975). Gesetze des Sehens. (3rd ed.) Frankfurt/M.: Kramer.Google Scholar
  49. Neff, W. S. (1936). A critical investigation of the visual apprehension of movement. American Journal of Psychology, 48, 1–42.Google Scholar
  50. Oppenheimer, E. (1935). Optische Versuche über Ruhe und Bewegung. Psychologische Forschung, 20, 1–46.Google Scholar
  51. Orban, G. A. (Ed.), (1984). Symposium on movement perception: 5th European conference on visual perception. Vision Research, 24 (special issue).Google Scholar
  52. Pötzl, O. (1928). Die Aphasielehre vom Standpunkte der klinischen Psychiatrie (Vol. 1): Die optisch-agnostischen Störungen. Leipzig: Deuticke.Google Scholar
  53. Ramachandran, V. S. (Ed.), (1985). Apparent motion of subjective surfaces. Perception, 14 (special issue).Google Scholar
  54. Ramachandran, V. S. (1987). Visual perception of surfaces: A biological theory. In S. Petry & G. E. Meyer (Eds.), The perception of illusory contours, pp. 93–108. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  55. Ramachandran, V. S., & Anstis, S. M. (1983). Perceptual organization in moving patterns. Nature, 304, 529–531.Google Scholar
  56. Reinhardt-Rutlandt, A. H. (1988). Induced movement in the visual modality: An overview. Psychological Bulletin, 103, 57–71.Google Scholar
  57. Robinson, J. O. (1972). The psychology of visual illusion. London: Hutchinson.Google Scholar
  58. Rock, I. (1975). An introduction to perception. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  59. Rock, I. (1986). The description and analysis of object and event perception. In K. R. Boff, L. Kaufman, & J. P. Thomas (Eds.), Handbook of perception and human performance (Vol. II): Cognitive processes and performance. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  60. Sarris, V. (1971). Wahrnehmung und Urteil. Göttingen: Hogrefe.Google Scholar
  61. Sarris, V. (1985). Experimentalpsychologisches Praktikum (Vol. 1). Weinheim: Beltz.Google Scholar
  62. Sarris, V. (1987a). Max Wertheimer in Frankfurt — über Beginn und Aufbaukrise der Gestaltpsychologie. I. Ausgangsstudien über das Sehen von Bewegung (1910–1912). Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 195, 283–310.Google Scholar
  63. Sarris, V. (1987b). Max Wertheimer in Frankfurt — über Beginn und Aufbaukrise der Gestaltpsychologie. II. Strukturgesetze der Bewegungs- und Raumwahrnehmung (1911–1914). Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 195, 403–431.Google Scholar
  64. Sarris, V. (1988a). Max Wertheimer in Frankfurt — über Beginn und Aufbaukrise der Gestaltpsychologie. III. Weitere Studien über das Sehen von Bewegung (1929–1933). Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 196, 27–61.Google Scholar
  65. Sarris, V. (Ed.) (1988b). Max Wertheimer in Frankfurt: 75 years of experimental Gestalt psychology. (Memorial Exhibition Catalaogue) Frankfurt/M.: J. W. Goethe University.Google Scholar
  66. Sarris, V. (1989). Cognitology as a challenge for the study of the mental: A psychophysicist looks at Bunge's Treatise. (In preparation.)Google Scholar
  67. Sarris, V., & Parducci, A. (1984). Epilogue: The future of experimental psychology — toward the year 2000. In V. Sarris & A. Parducci (Eds.), Perspectives in psychological experimentation: Toward the year 2000, pp. 355–357. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  68. Sarris, V., & Wertheimer, Mich. (1987). Max Wertheimer (1880–1943) im Bilddokument — ein historiografischer Beitrag. Psychologische Beiträge, 29, 469–493.Google Scholar
  69. Sarris, V., Zoeke, B., & Hofer, G. (1986). Contextual effects in the bird's psychophysical response: Some tests of a frame-of-reference model. Paper presented at the second annual meeting of the International Society of Psychophysics, Cassis, France, October 19–22, 1986.Google Scholar
  70. Schiller, P. von (1934). Kinematoskopisches Sehen der Fische. Zeitschrift für Wissenschaftliche Biologie, 20, 454–462.Google Scholar
  71. Schiller, P. von (1937). Vergleichende Untersuchungen über Bewegungssehen. Biological Review, 12, 116–153.Google Scholar
  72. Stevens, S. S. (1951). Mathematics, measurement, and psychophysics. In S. S. Stevens (Ed.), Handbook of experimental psychology. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  73. Ternus, J. (1926). Experimentelle Untersuchung über phänomenale Identität. Psychologische Forschung, 7, 81–136.Google Scholar
  74. Uttal, W. R. (1981). A taxonomy of visual processes. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  75. Uttal, W. R. (1988). Limits on reductionistic theories in psychology. Paper presented at the XXIVth International Congress of Psychology, Sydney, Australia, Aug. 28–Sept. 3, 1988.Google Scholar
  76. Wertheimer, M. (1912). Experimentelle Studien über das Sehen von Bewegung. Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 61, 161–265. (Also published as a separate. Habilitationsschrift. Leipzig: Barth, 1912. Reprinted in M. Wertheimer, Drei Abhandlungen zur Gestaltheorie. Erlangen: Philosophische Akademie, 1925. Abridged translations in T. Shipley (Ed.), Classics in modern psychology. New York: Philosophical Library, 1959, chap. 39; and in R. J. Herrnstein & E. G. Boring, A source book in the history of psychology. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1966.)Google Scholar
  77. Wertheimer, M. (1923). Untersuchungen zur Lehre von der Gestalt: II. Psychologische Forschung, 4, 301–350. (Abridged translations in W. D. Ellis (Ed.), A source book of Gestalt psychology. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1938, chap. 5; in D. C. Beardslee & Mich. Wertheimer (Eds.), Readings in perception. New York: Van Nostrand, 1958; and in R. J. Herrnstein & E. G. Boring, A source book in the history of psychology. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1966.)Google Scholar
  78. Wertheimer, M. (1945). Productive thinking. New York: Harper & Row. (Enlarged edition by Mich. Wertheimer, 1959; new edition, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982.)Google Scholar
  79. Wertheimer, M. (1959). On discrimination experiments: I. Two logical structures. Psychological Review, 66, 252–266. (Late undated manuscript, edited by Lise Wertheimer.)Google Scholar
  80. Wertheimer, Mich. (1980). Max Wertheimer: Gestalt prophet. Gestalt Theory, 2, 3–17.Google Scholar
  81. Zihl, J., von Cramon, D., & Mai, N. (1983). Selective disturbance of movement vision after bilateral brain damage. Brain. 106, 313–340.Google Scholar
  82. Zoeke, B., Sarris, V., & Hofer, G. (1988). Psychophysical context effects in chickens (hubbards). International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 1, 167–178.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Viktor Sarris
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für PsychologieJ. W. Goethe-UniversitätFrankfurt/M.Federal Republic of Germany

Personalised recommendations