Abstract

We examine how local direction signals are combined to compute the focus of radial motion (FRM) in random dot patterns and examine how this process changes across the visual field. Equivalent noise analysis showed that a loss in FRM accuracy was largely attributable to an increase in local motion detector noise with little or no change in efficiency across the visual field. The minimum separation for discriminating the foci of two overlapping optic flow patterns increased in the periphery faster than predicted from the resolution for a single FRM. This behavior requires that observers average numerous local velocities to estimate the FRM, which enables resistance to internal and external noise and endows the system with the property of position invariance. However, such pooling limits the precision with which multiple looming objects can be discriminated, especially in the peripheral visual field.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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