Perception of oppositely moving verniers and spatio-temporal interpolation

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Even at moderatos speeds, moving objects stimulate many retinal photoreceptors within the integration time of the receptors, yet usually no motion blur is experienced. An elegant model for the elimination of motion blur was proposed by Anderson and van Essen [(1987) Proceedings of the National Academy of Science U.S.A., 84, 6297-63011. These authors suggested that so-called shifter circuits shift the neuronal representation of retinal images on their way to the cortex. The retinal image of an object moving in the outer world is thus shifted in the opposite direction to the object motion, and the cortical representation of objects would be stable at least during short periods of time. To test the hypothesis of "shifter circuits", I measured thresholds for two vernier stimuli, moving simultaneously into opposite directions over identical parts of the retina. Motion blur for these stimuli was not stronger than with a single moving stimulus, and thresholds for the detection of vernier offsets could be below a photoreceptor diameter. This finding poses serious problems for the hypothesis of shifter circuits, since shifter circuits would be able to stabilize only one of the stimuli. In additional experiments, stimuli moved discontinuously, requiring spatio-temporal interpolation for the perception of smooth motion. The results are consistent with those obtained with continuous motion. Precision of spatio-temporal interpolation is in the hyperacuity range even for stimuli moving in opposite directions over the same small part of the visual field. © 1995 Elsevier Science Ltd.




Fahle, M. (1995). Perception of oppositely moving verniers and spatio-temporal interpolation. Vision Research, 35(7), 925–937.

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