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On the inverse problem of binocular 3D motion perception

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Public Library of Science
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Abstract

It is shown that existing processing schemes of 3D motion perception such as interocular velocity difference, changing disparity over time, as well as joint encoding of motion and disparity, do not offer a general solution to the inverse optics problem of local binocular 3D motion. Instead we suggest that local velocity constraints in combination with binocular disparity and other depth cues provide a more flexible framework for the solution of the inverse problem. In the context of the aperture problem we derive predictions from two plausible default strategies: (1) the vector normal prefers slow motion in 3D whereas (2) the cyclopean average is based on slow motion in 2D. Predicting perceived motion directions for ambiguous line motion provides an opportunity to distinguish between these strategies of 3D motion processing. Our theoretical results suggest that velocity constraints and disparity from feature tracking are needed to solve the inverse problem of 3D motion perception. It seems plausible that motion and disparity input is processed in parallel and integrated late in the visual processing hierarchy.

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