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PLoS One. 2009;4(2):e4536. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004536. Epub 2009 Feb 19.

Performance characterization of Watson Ahumada motion detector using random dot rotary motion stimuli.

Author information

1
EECS Department, University of California, Berkeley, California, United States of America. fd97207@yahoo.com

Abstract

The performance of Watson & Ahumada's model of human visual motion sensing is compared against human psychophysical performance. The stimulus consists of random dots undergoing rotary motion, displayed in a circular annulus. The model matches psychophysical observer performance with respect to most parameters. It is able to replicate some key psychophysical findings such as invariance of observer performance to dot density in the display, and decrease of observer performance with frame duration of the display.Associated with the concept of rotary motion is the notion of a center about which rotation occurs. One might think that for accurate estimation of rotary motion in the display, this center must be accurately known. A simple vector analysis reveals that this need not be the case. Numerical simulations confirm this result, and may explain the position invariance of MST(d) cells. Position invariance is the experimental finding that rotary motion sensitive cells are insensitive to where in their receptive field rotation occurs.When all the dots in the display are randomly drawn from a uniform distribution, illusory rotary motion is perceived. This case was investigated by Rose & Blake previously, who termed the illusory rotary motion the omega effect. Two important experimental findings are reported concerning this effect. First, although the display of random dots evokes perception of rotary motion, the direction of motion perceived does not depend on what dot pattern is shown. Second, the time interval between spontaneous flips in perceived direction is lognormally distributed (mode approximately 2 s). These findings suggest the omega effect fits in the category of a typical bistable illusion, and therefore the processes that give rise to this illusion may be the same processes that underlie much of other bistable phenomenon.

PMID:
19225571
PMCID:
PMC2640429
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0004536
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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