Which way is this train going?

Our eyes pick up information from the world around us and they allow us to see the world in a way that allows us to interact with it. This not only includes the perception of color, shapes and size, it also involves motion. Like anything else in the outside world, our eyes pick up light from objects and turn that light into data that can be understood by the brain. In the case of motion, it is known as motion perception.

Motion perception is defined as a process of recognizing both the speed and direction of what is in front of us. That perception is based on our visual senses as well as our equilibrium and our ability to sense position and location (proprioception). In the end, it is something that all of us experience but it is more complex than most of us understand.

It is difficult to fully comprehend the science of motion perception and most people just tend to ignore what is going on in the background. When you look at the following image, it will make you take note of what is truly taking place. Stare at this image for a few moments and you will understand. Is it moving forward or backward? You be the judge.

train