Most cyclists have likely never heard of Gunnar Johansson. But the Swedish psychologist, who pioneered the study of biomotion in the early 1970s, deserves a lot of credit for making our beloved (but sometimes hazardous) two-wheeled sport safer. Johansson’s pioneering work decoded how the human brain perceives motion. He discovered that our brains are wired by thousands of years of evolution to identify fellow humans by recognizing certain patterns of movement — including pedaling — even if the entire person is not visible.
Applying that knowledge to cycling has lead to the ability to make us more visible to others — and especially to drivers — by making sure certain parts of our bodies are highlighted with highly visible materials (reflectivity and high visibility colors), which can help drivers see us during the day or at night.