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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 70, Iss. 11 — Nov. 1, 1980
  • pp: 1289–1296

Visual responses to changing size and to sideways motion for different directions of motion in depth: Linearization of visual responses

D. Regan and K. I. Beverley  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 70, Issue 11, pp. 1289-1296 (1980)

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This psychophysical study explored one possible basis for visually judging the direction of motion in depth. We propose that the changing-size channels precisely compute the algebraic difference between the velocities of opposite edges of a target, thus extracting the velocity component Vz along a line through the eye independent of the trajectory of the target, so that (with added “jitter”) this computation is accurately independent of the component of motion Vx parallel to the frontoparallel plane over a wide range of Vx:Vz ratios. We have no evidence for a complementary channel that computes Vx independently of Vz over any comparable range of Vx:Vz ratios. Our evidence shows that the oscillations of the edges of our stimulus square were equivalent to the oscillation of the square along one of 11 trajectories in depth. All 11 trajectories had the same value of Vz, but the 11 trajectories had different Vx values. In separate experiments, subjects adapted to each trajectory and we measured threshold elevations for two test oscillations, one equivalent to pure z-direction motion and the other equivalent to pure x-direction motion. To a first approximation, threshold elevations for the z-direction test were the same for all 11 trajectories, with the greatest departure from constancy (30%) when two edges of the adapting stimulus were stationary (i.e., equivalent to trajectories that just grazed the eye). Adding an 8-Hz “jitter” oscillation to the 2-Hz adapting oscillation “linearized” the visual response so that threshold elevations were rendered accurately constant (± 5%) for all trajectories tested.

© 1980 Optical Society of America

D. Regan and K. I. Beverley, "Visual responses to changing size and to sideways motion for different directions of motion in depth: Linearization of visual responses," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 70, 1289-1296 (1980)

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  1. D. Regan and K. I. Beverley, "Looming detectors in the human visual pathway," Vision Res. 18, 415–421 (1978).
  2. K. I. Beverley and D. Regan, "Separable aftereffects for changing size and motion in depth: different neural mechanisms?," Vision Res. 19, 727–732 (1979).
  3. D. Regan, K. I. Beverley, and M. Cynader, "The visual perception of motion in depth," Sci. Am. 241, 136–151 (1979).
  4. K. I. Beverley and D. Regan, "Visual perception of changing size: the effect of object size," Vision Res. 19, 1093–1104 (1979).
  5. D. Regan and M. Cynader, "Neurons in area 18 of cat visual cortex selectively sensitive to changing size: nonlinear interactions between the responses to two edges," Vision Res. 19, 699–711 (1979).
  6. D. Regan and K. I. Beverley, "Binocular and monocular stimuli for motion in depth: changing-disparity and changing-size feed the same motion-in-depth stage," Vision Res. 19, 1331–1342 (1979).
  7. R. Sekuler, A. Pantle, and E. Levinson, "Physiological basis of motion perception," in Handbook of Sensory Physiology, edited by R. Held, H. W. Leibowitz, and H.-L. Teuber (Springer, New York, 1978).
  8. Although a perception of motion in depth can be produced either by changing size or stereoscopically by the relative velocity of the left and right retinal images,6. the neural computations involved are quite different. We report here that changing-size responses involve an accurate computation of a velocity difference, whereas the stereoscopic motion in depth channel is highly selective to the ratio of left and right image velocities.9–12 This point is illustrated in Fig. 10.
  9. K. I. Beverley and D. Regan, "Evidence for the existence of neural mechanisms selectively sensitive to the direction of movement in space," J. Physiol. 235, 17–29 (1973).
  10. K. I. Beverley and D. Regan, "The relation between discrimination and sensitivity in the perception of motion in depth," J. Physiol. 249, 387–398 (1975).
  11. M. Cynader and D. Regan, "Neurons in cat parastriate cortex sensitive to the direction of motion in three-dimensional space," J. Physiol. 274, 549–569 (1978).
  12. W. H. Talbot and G. F. Poggio, "The representation of motion in depth in foveal striate cortex of macaque," ARVO abstracts, Invest. Opthalmol. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 18, 134 (1979).
  13. A. Pantle and R. W. Sekuler, "Velocity-sensitive elements in human vision: initial psychophysical evidence," Vision Res. 8, 445–450 (1968).
  14. C. Wolhgemuth, "On the aftereffect of seen movement," Brit. J. Psychol. Suppl. 1 (1911).
  15. H. B. Barlow and R. M. Hill, "Evidence for a physiological explanation of the waterfall phenomenon and figural aftereffect," Nature (London) 200, 1345–1347 (1963).
  16. D. H. Hubel and T. N. Wiesel, "Receptive fields, binocular interaction and functional architecture in the cat's visual cortex," J. Physiol. 160, 106–154 (1962).
  17. S. Blomfield, "Arithmetical operations performed by nerve cells," Brain Res. 69, 115–124 (1974).
  18. l8.A. A. Skavenski, R. M. Hansen, R. M. Steinman, and B. J. Winterson, "Quality of retinal image stabilization during small natural and artificial body rotations in man," Vision Res. 19, 675–683 (1979).
  19. E. Kowler and R. M. Steinman, "Small saccades serve no useful purpose: reply to a letter by R. W. Ditchburn," Vision Res. 20, 273–276 (1980).
  20. Skavenski et al.18 proposed an intriguing functional explanation for their finding that compensatory eye movements are only about 90% rather than 100% effective in cancelling retinal image velocities caused by head movements. They suggested that the gain of the oculomotor compensation mechanism is adjusted to maintain retinal image motion within a range optimal for visual processing. "Gain is never sufficiently high to produce functional image stabilization or sufficiently low to permit images to move too rapidly." 18.
  21. H. Spekreijse and L. H. van der Tweel, "Linearization of evoked responses to sinusoidally modulated light by noise," Nature (London) 205, 913–915 (1965).
  22. H. Spekreijse, "Rectification in the goldfish retina: analysis by sinusoidal and auxiliary stimulation," Vision Res. 9, 1461–1472 (1970).
  23. L. H. van der Tweel and H. Spekreijse, "Signal transport and rectification in the human evoked-response system," Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 156, 678–695 (1969).
  24. D. Regan and K. I. Beverley, "Device for measuring eye-hand coordination when tracking changing size," Aviat. Space Environ. Med. (to be published).
  25. We restrict this discussion to the translational motion of a rigid nonrotating body.
  26. K. I. Beverley and D. Regan, "Visual sensitivity to the shape and size of a moving object: implications for models of object perception," Percept. 9, 151–160 (1980).
  27. D. Regan and K. I. Beverley, "Visually guided locomotion: psycohphysical evidence for a neural mechanism sensitive to flow patterns," Science 205, 311–313 (1979).

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