Motion detection on flashed, stationary pedestal gratings: Evidence for an opponent-motion mechanism

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Issue Date
1998-03
Authors
Zemany, L.
Stromeyer, C.F.
Chaparro, Alex
Kronauer, Richard. E.
Advisor
Citation

Zemany, L., Stromeyer, C.F., Chaparro, A., & Kronauer, R.E. (1998). Motion detection on flashed, stationary pedestal gratings: Evidence for an opponent-motion mechanism. Vision Research, 38(6), 795-812.

Abstract

Contrast thresholds were measured for discriminating left vs right motion of a vertical, 1 c/deg luminance grating lasting for one cycle of motion. This test was presented on a 1 c/deg stationary grating (pedestal) of twice-threshold, flashed for the duration of the test motion. Lu and Sperling [(1995). Vision Research, 35, 2697-2722] argue that the visual system detects the underlying, first-order motion of the test and is immune to the presence of the stationary pedestal (and the 'feature wobble' which it induces). On the contrary, we observe that the stationary pedestal has large effects on motion detection at 7 and 15 Hz, and smaller effects at 0.9-3.7 Hz, evidenced by a spatial phase dependency between the stationary pedestal and moving test. At 15 Hz the motion threshold drops as much as five-fold, with the stationary pedestal in the optimal spatial phase (i.e., pedestal and test spatially in phase at middle of motion), and the perceived direction of the test motion reverses with the pedestal in the opposite phase. Phase dependency was also explored using a very brief (~ 1 msec) static pedestal presented with the moving test. The pedestal of Lu and Sperling (flashed for the duration of the test) has a broad spectrum of left and right moving components which interact with the moving test. The pedestal effects can be explained by the visual system's much higher sensitivity to the difference of the contrast of right vs left moving components than to either component alone.

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