Integration of speed signals in the direction of motion

Journal Article


Speed discrimination tasks were used to examine the spatial and temporal characteristics of the integration mechanism involved when signals are extended in the direction of motion. We varied the aspect ratio of a signal patch whose speed differed from the background, while holding the area of the signal patch constant, so that the signal patch could be either extended in the direction of motion or extended orthogonal to the direction of motion. Speed discrimination thresholds decreased dramatically as the signal patch was extended in the direction of motion. The spatial and temporal integration regions were larger than would be expected if the integration mechanism were a low-level motion detector. The mechanism was tuned for direction of motion. The data are discussed with reference to two alternative integration mechanisms: a low-level detector that is elongated in the direction of motion and a higher level integration mechanism characterized by cooperative or facilitatory interactions between low-level detectors tuned to the same direction of motion. Our data are consistent with a second-level, direction-specific process that integrates the responses of low-level motion detectors.


Perception & psychophysics



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