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Visible persistence is reduced by fixed-trajectory motion but not by random motion.

Authors
  • Watamaniuk, S N
Type
Published Article
Journal
Perception
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1992
Volume
21
Issue
6
Pages
791–802
Identifiers
PMID: 1297982
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Despite the sluggish temporal response of the human visual system, moving objects appear clear and without blur, which suggests that visible persistence is reduced when objects move. It has been argued that spatiotemporal proximity alone can account for this modulation of visible persistence and that activation of a motion mechanism per se is not necessary. Experiments are reported which demonstrate that there is a motion-specific influence on visible persistence. Specifically, points moving in constant directions, or fixed trajectories, show less persistence than points moving with the same spatial and temporal displacements but taking random walks, randomly changing direction each frame. Subjects estimated the number of points present in the display for these two types of motion conditions. Under conditions chosen to produce 'good' apparent motion, ie small temporal and spatial increments, the apparent number of points for the fixed-trajectory condition was significantly lower than the apparent number in the random-walk condition. The traditional explanation of the suppression of persistence based on the spatiotemporal proximity of objects cannot account for these results. The enhanced suppression of persistence observed for a target moving in a consistent direction depends upon the activation of a directionally tuned motion mechanism extended over space and time.

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