Spatial-gradient limit on perception of multiple motion.

Y. Hermush*, Y. Yeshurun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Motion is perceived whenever a subject is presented with an appropriate spatiotemporal visual pattern. Like many other visual tasks, motion perception involves both local and global processing, and thus might be subject to the well-known paradox that arises from the fact that local features and observations form the basis for global perception, but sometimes this global percept can not be easily derived from any single local observation, as is best exemplified by the aperture problem. Globally, dual (transparent) motion can be readily perceived. Spatial limits on the local ability to perceive multiple motion are sought. By using the framework of apparent motion, it is found that dual, orthogonally oriented motion can be perceived only when the dots that constitute the two motions are separated by some spatial limit. For short-range apparent motion, the limit is found to be comparable to D(max), and the visual system cannot perceive more than a single coherent motion in a local "patch" of radius D(max). It was also found that this spatial limit on local-motion perception is not constant, but depends linearly on the spatial organisation of the stimuli, and vanishes for stimuli having reverse contrast. The lower bound on the ability to perceive multiple motion is compared with some well-known bounds in stereopsis, and a cortical columnar architecture that might account for it is proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1247-1256
Number of pages10
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1995


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