OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 2, Iss. 2 — Feb. 1, 1985
  • pp: 284–299

Spatiotemporal energy models for the perception of motion

Edward H. Adelson and James R. Bergen  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 2, Issue 2, pp. 284-299 (1985)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (4167 KB) Open Access

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



A motion sequence may be represented as a single pattern in xyt space; a velocity of motion corresponds to a three-dimensional orientation in this space. Motion sinformation can be extracted by a system that responds to the oriented spatiotemporal energy. We discuss a class of models for human motion mechanisms in which the first stage consists of linear filters that are oriented in space-time and tuned in spatial frequency. The outputs of quadrature pairs of such filters are squared and summed to give a measure of motion energy. These responses are then fed into an opponent stage. Energy models can be built from elements that are consistent with known physiology and psychophysics, and they permit a qualitative understanding of a variety of motion phenomena.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: July 9, 1984
Manuscript Accepted: October 12, 1984
Published: February 1, 1985

Edward H. Adelson and James R. Bergen, "Spatiotemporal energy models for the perception of motion," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 2, 284-299 (1985)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. S. Ullman, The Interpretation of Visual Motion (MIT U. Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1979).
  2. S. M. Anstis, “The perception of apparent movement,” Phil. Trans. R. Soc. London Ser. B 290, 153–168 (1980). [CrossRef]
  3. S. M. Anstis, “Apparent Movement,” in Handbook of Sensory Physiology, Vol. VIII, Perception, R. Held, H. W. Leibowitz, H.-L. Teuber, eds. (Springer-Verlag, New York, 1977).
  4. J. S. Lappin, H. H. Bell, “Perceptual differentiation of sequential visual patterns,” Percept. Psychophys. 12, 129–134 (1972). [CrossRef]
  5. D. Marr, S. Ullman, “Direction selectivity and its use in early visual processing,” Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 211, 151–180 (1981). [CrossRef]
  6. J. P. H. van Santen, G. Sperling, “Temporal covariance model of human motion perception,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 1, 451–473 (1984). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. W. Reichardt, “Autocorrelation, a principle for the evaluation of sensory information by the central nervous system,” in Sensory Communication, W. A. Rosenblith, ed. (Wiley, New York, 1961).
  8. A. B. Watson, A. J. Ahumada, “A look at motion in the frequency domain,”NASA Tech. Memo. TM-84352 (1983).
  9. J. Ross, D. Burr, “The psychophysics of motion,” in Proceedings of the Workshop of Vision, Brain, and Cooperative Computation, M. A. Arbib, A. R. Hanson eds. (U. Massachusetts Press, Amherst, Mass., 1983); Vision, Brain, and Cooperative Computation (Bradford, Amherst, Mass., to be published).
  10. M. J. Morgan, “Perception of continuity in stroboscopic motion: a temporal frequency analysis.” Vision Res 19, 491–500 (1979); “Analogue models of motion perception,” Phil. Trans. R. Soc. London Ser. B 290, 117–135 (1980). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. E. H. Adelson, “Some new illusions, and some old ones, analyzed in terms of their Fourier components,” Invest. Opthalmol. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 22, 144 (1982).
  12. E. H. Adelson, J. R. Bergen, “Spatio-temporal energy models for the Perception of Motion,”J. Opt. Soc. Am. 73, 1861 (1983).
  13. C. Enroth-Cugell, J. G. Robson, “The contrast sensitivity of retinal ganglion cells of the cat,”J. Physiol. London 187, 517–552 (1966). [PubMed]
  14. J. A. Movshon, I. D. Thompson, D. J. Tolhurst, “Spatial summation in the receptive fields of simple cells in the cat’s striate cortex.”J. Physiol. (London) 283, 79–99 (1978).
  15. F. W. Campbell, J. G. Robson, “Application of Fourier analysis to the visibility of gratings,”J. Physiol. (London) 197, 551–566 (1968).
  16. H. R. Wilson, J. R. Bergen, “A four mechanism model for threshold spatial vision,” Vision Res. 19, 19–33 (1979). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  17. O. Braddick, “A short-range process in apparent motion,” Vision Res. 14, 519–529, (1974); “Low-level and high-level processes in apparent motion,” Phil. Trans. R. Soc. London B 290, 137–151 (1980). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. J. Hochberg, V. Brooks, “The perception of motion pictures,” in Handbook of Perception, E. C. Carterette, M. Friedmen, eds. (Academic, New York, 1978), Vol. 10.
  19. G. Sperling, “Movement perception in computer-driven visual displays,” Behav. Res. Methods Instrum. 8, 144–151 (1976). [CrossRef]
  20. P. Burt, G. Sperling, “Time, distance, and feature trade-offs in visual apparent motion,” Psych. Rev. 88, 171–195 (1981). [CrossRef]
  21. A. J. Pantle, L. Picciano, “A multi-stable movement display: Evidence for two separate motion systems in humans,” Science 193, 500–502 (1976). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  22. D. E. Pearson, Transmission and Display of Pictorial Information (Wiley, New York, 1975).
  23. A. B. Watson, A. Ahumada, J. E. Farrell, “The window of visibility: a psychophysical theory of fidelity in time-sampled visual motion displays,”NASA Tech. Paper TP-2211 (1983).
  24. D. H. Hubel, T. N. Wiesel, “Receptive fields of single neurones in the cat’s striate cortex,”J. Physiol. (London) 148, 574–591 (1959).
  25. D. H. Tolhurst, J. A. Movshon, “Spatial and temporal contrast sensitivity of striate cortical neurons,” Nature 257, 674–675 (1975). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  26. J. A. Movshon, I. D. Thompson, D. J. Tolhurst, “Spatial and temporal contrast sensitivity of neurons in areas 17 and 18 of the cat’s visual contex,”J. Physiol. (London) 283, 101–120 (1978).
  27. A. B. Watson, A. J. Ahumada, “A model of how humans sense image motion,” Invest. Opthalmol. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 25, 14 (1984).
  28. A. Pantle, R. Sekuler, “Contrast response of human visual mechanisms sensitive to orientation and motion.” Vision Res. 9, 397–406 (1969). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  29. J. R. Bergen, H. R. Wilson, “Prediction of flicker sensitivities from temporal three pulse data,” Vision Res. (to be published).
  30. J. G. Robson, “Spatial and temporal contrast sensitivity functions of the visual system,”J. Opt. Soc. Am. 56, 1141–1142 (1966). [CrossRef]
  31. D. H. Kelly, “Motion and vision, II. Stabilized spatio-temporal threshold surface,”J. Opt. Soc. Am. 69, 1340–349 (1979). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  32. T. J. Long, “Why not compatible high-definition television?”IBA Tech. Rev. 21, 4–12 (1983); T. S. Robson, “Extended-definition television service,” Proc. IEE 129, 485–489 (1982).
  33. A. B. Watson, J. G. Robson, “Discrimination at threshold: labelled detectors in human vision,” Vision Res. 21, 1115–1122 (1981). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  34. P. Thompson, “The coding of velocity of movement in the human visual system,” Vision Res. 24, 41–45 (1984). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  35. D. J. Tolhurst, “Sustained and transient channels in human vision,” Vision Res. 15, 1151–1155 (1975). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  36. E. Levinson, R. Sekuler, “The independence of channels in human vision selective for direction of movement,”J. Physiol. London 250, 347–366 (1975). [PubMed]
  37. A. B. Watson, P. G. Thompson, B. J. Murphy, J. Nachmias, “Summation and discrimination of gratings moving in opposite directions,” Vision Res. 20, 341–347 (1980). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  38. C. F. Stromeyer, R. E. Kronauer, J. C. Madsen, S. A. Klein, “Opponent mechanisms in human vision,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 1, 876–884 (1984). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  39. P. Thompson, “Perceived rate of movement depends on contrast,” Vision Res. 22, 377–380 (1982). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  40. S. M. Anstis, B. J. Rogers, “Illusory reversal of visual depth and movement during changes of contrast,” Vision Res. 15, 957–961 (1975). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  41. S. M. Anstis, Department of Psychology, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (personal communication, 1981).
  42. E. H. Adelson, J. A. Movshon “Phenomenal coherence of moving gratings,” Nature 200, 523–525 (1982). [CrossRef]
  43. M. Fahle, T. Poggio, “Visual hyperacuity: spatio-temporal interpolation in human vision,” Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 213, 451–477 (1981). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited