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Spat Vis. 1985;1(1):47-56.

Three theories of stroboscopic motion detection.

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  • 1Psychology Department, New York University, NY 10003.


The three theories derive from three different paradigms. Suprathreshold judgements of perceived quality of motion in multi-flash displays are modelled by space-time Fourier analysis of the motion stimulus. Stroboscopic motion is perceived as being different from real motion to the extent that the additional Fourier components in stroboscopic motion are detectable. Stroboscopic motion of dots along conflicting paths leads to perceptual competition. The theory to describe perceptual I solution derives and proves the uniqueness of strength functions computed only from the time and from the distance between successive points on each path. Time-strength and motion-strength add to determine path-strength; only the strongest path is perceived. Motion-direction detection in continuously drifting two-flash combinations of sinusoidal gratings is described by elaborated Reichardt detectors (ERDs) that compute the covariance of temporal events in two adjacent locations. Other apparently different, detectors that account for direction-detection data are shown to be equivalent to ERDs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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