Abstract

The relation between retinal inhomogeneity and motion in depth was explored by means of a circularly symmetric but nonuniform stimulus pattern, designed to fit the inhomogeneity of the subject’s retina. Radial motion of the quasi-sinusoidal rings of this target evokes an illusion of motion in depth: forward if the frontal-plane motion is centrifugal, backward if it is centripetal. Like the Plateau spiral, this stimulus produces strong motion aftereffects (MAE’s) over a wide range of spatial and temporal frequencies. Over a much more limited frequency range, the forward MAE is significantly more adaptable than the backward MAE. This forward effect was found to occur only at very low spatial frequencies (~0.05–0.5 cycles/deg at the fovea) and velocities near 20 deg/sec. The effect was destroyed by decentering the target or by varying its homogeneity so that it no longer matched the retina. These results suggest a hard-wired collision-avoidance system.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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