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Perception of scene-relative object movement: Optic flow parsing and the contribution of monocular depth cues

Perception of scene-relative object movement: Optic flow parsing and the contribution of monocular depth cues

Vision Research 49(11): 1406-1419

We have recently suggested that the brain uses its sensitivity to optic flow in order to parse retinal motion into components arising due to self and object movement (e.g. Rushton, S. K., & Warren, P. A. (2005). Moving observers, 3D relative motion and the detection of object movement. Current Biology, 15, R542-R543). Here, we explore whether stereo disparity is necessary for flow parsing or whether other sources of depth information, which could theoretically constrain flow-field interpretation, are sufficient. Stationary observers viewed large field of view stimuli containing textured cubes, moving in a manner that was consistent with a complex observer movement through a stationary scene. Observers made speeded responses to report the perceived direction of movement of a probe object presented at different depths in the scene. Across conditions we varied the presence or absence of different binocular and monocular cues to depth order. In line with previous studies, results consistent with flow parsing (in terms of both perceived direction and response time) were found in the condition in which motion parallax and stereoscopic disparity were present. Observers were poorer at judging object movement when depth order was specified by parallax alone. However, as more monocular depth cues were added to the stimulus the results approached those found when the scene contained stereoscopic cues. We conclude that both monocular and binocular static depth information contribute to flow parsing. These findings are discussed in the context of potential architectures for a model of the flow parsing mechanism.

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Accession: 054917690

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 19480063

DOI: 10.1016/j.visres.2009.01.016

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