A target in real motion appears blurred in the absence of other proximal moving targets

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For exposure durations longer than about 40 msec, a field of dots in sampled motion has been reported to appear less smeared than predicted from the visual persistence of static displays. This reduction of perceived smear has been attributed to a motion "deblurring" mechanism. However, it has been long recognized that an isolated target moving continuously in a dark field appears to be extensively smeared. To reconcile these apparently contradictory observations, we investigated the effect of dot density on the extent of perceived smear for a single moving dot and for fields of dots with densities ranging from 0.75 to 7.5 dots/deg2. Bright targets were presented in continuous motion against a photopically illuminated background field. The results reconcile previous conflicting observations by showing that the length of perceived smear decreases systematically with dot density for exposure durations longer than about 50 msec. In three additional experiments, we arranged the spatial configuration of the targets to evaluate whether motion deblurring results primarily from a motion compensation mechanism (such as integration within the spatiotemporally oriented receptive fields of putative motion mechanisms) or from inhibition exerted by spatiotemporally adjacent targets. The results show that the activation of motion mechanisms is not a sufficient condition for motion deblurring and that the reduction of perceived smear requires the presence of spatiotemporally adjacent targets. Taken together, these findings suggest that motion deblurring results primarily from masking exerted by spatiotemporally proximal targets. © 1995.




Chen, S., Bedell, H. E., & Öǧmen, H. (1995). A target in real motion appears blurred in the absence of other proximal moving targets. Vision Research, 35(16), 2315–2328. https://doi.org/10.1016/0042-6989(94)00308-9

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