Abstract

The minimum speed required for discriminating the direction of drifting gratings was measured at a variety of spatial frequencies, display durations, and contrasts. As was reported previously, speed thresholds were relatively constant for middle and high spatial frequencies, but speed threshold was found to be almost inversely proportional to spatial frequency in the range of 0.25 to 1.0 c/deg. Speed threshold was also found to be inversely proportional to duration between 73 and 400 ms. These results at low frequencies and short durations are shown to be consistent with limits set by the spread of energy in the stimuli, producing velocity uncertainty. A quantitative model of temporal filtering is presented that largely accounts for results at all spatial frequencies and durations by the inclusion of constant positional noise. A discussion includes the possible roles of magnocellular and parvocellular mechanisms in mediating speed thresholds.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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