Motion perception in central field loss

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publication: Journal of Vision, Volume 19, p.20–20 (2019)

Motion information is essential in daily life because it provides cues to depth, timing, object identification, and self-motion, as well as input to the oculomotor system. As the peripheral visual field is exquisitely sensitive to motion, we investigated the periphery of individuals with central visual field loss (CFL) to determine whether speed and direction discrimination are intact in this population. We compared CFL participants'(N= 8), older (N= 6), and young controls'(N= 6) ability to discriminate motion speed and direction in a two-spatial-alternative forced-choice design. Participants viewed moving dots on the left and right of a fixation marker and judged which side had the faster speed or more clockwise direction. For the young control group, we repeated the experiment with the stimulus limited to thin strips of fixed width at eccentricities of 5, 10, and 15. There was no significant difference in mean speed or direction discrimination thresholds of CFL participants and older controls for either velocity. Young controls had significantly lower thresholds than the CFL group for both tasks. We did not find an effect of visual acuity, viewing eccentricity, or scotoma location on individuals' ability to discriminate speed or direction. Our results indicate that for high-visibility stimuli moving at 5–10/s, speed and direction discrimination are intact in the periphery of individuals with CFL.

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