Perceptual interaction of local motion signals

Eyal I. Nitzany, Maren E. Loe, Stephanie E. Palmer, Jonathan D. Victor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Motion signals are a rich source of information used in many everyday tasks, such as segregation of objects from background and navigation. Motion analysis by biological systems is generally considered to consist of two stages: extraction of local motion signals followed by spatial integration. Studies using synthetic stimuli show that there are many kinds and subtypes of local motion signals. When presented in isolation, these stimuli elicit behavioral and neurophysiological responses in a wide range of species, from insects to mammals. However, these mathematically-distinct varieties of local motion signals typically co-exist in natural scenes. This study focuses on interactions between two kinds of local motion signals: Fourier and glider. Fourier signals are typically associated with translation, while glider signals occur when an object approaches or recedes. Here, using a novel class of synthetic stimuli, we ask how distinct kinds of local motion signals interact and whether context influences sensitivity to Fourier motion. We report that local motion signals of different types interact at the perceptual level, and that this interaction can include subthreshold summation and, in some subjects, subtle contextdependent changes in sensitivity. We discuss the implications of these observations, and the factors that may underlie them.

Original languageEnglish
Article number22
JournalJournal of Vision
Issue number14
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Local motion
  • Motion perception
  • Non-Fourier motion


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