Abstract During a pursuit eye movement made across a stationary stimulus, that stimulus is often perceived as moving slightly in the direction opposite to the eyes (Filehne illusion). The illusion is generally thought to increase in strength when the stimulus is made visible only briefly. In two experiments the illusion was indeed observed with young subjects. However, with older subjects brief stimulus presentations yielded a strong inverted Filehne illusion (the stimulus appeared to move in the same direction as the eyes). This age dependency of the Filehne illusion is caused by an increase of only the threshold for stimulus motion in the direction opposite to the eyes. No such effect happens with the threshold for stimulus motion in the same direction as the eyes. These findings can be explained if we assume that with increasing age it takes more time to properly register retinal image velocity within the perceptual system.