We measured motion-detection and motion-discrimination performance for different directions of motion, using stochastic motion sequences. Random-dot cinematograms containing 200 dots in a circular aperture were used as stimuli in a two-interval forced-choice procedure. In the motion-detection experiment, observers judged which of two intervals contained weak coherent motion, the other interval containing random motion only. In the direction-discrimination experiment, observers viewed a standard direction of motion followed by comparison motion in a slightly different direction. Observers indicated whether the comparison was clockwise or counterclockwise, relative to the standard. Twelve directions of motion were tested in the detection task and five standard directions (three cardinal directions and two oblique directions) in the discrimination task. Detection thresholds were invariant with direction of motion, but direction-discrimination thresholds were significantly higher for motion in oblique directions, even at low-coherence levels. Results from control conditions ruled out monitor artifacts and indicate that the oblique effect is relative to retinal coordinates. These results have broad implications for computational and physiological models of motion perception.
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