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Two mechanisms for optic flow and scale change processing of looming

By Finnegan J. Calabro, Kunjan D. Rana and Lucia M. Vaina


Published in final edited form as: J Vis. ; 11(3): . doi:10.1167/11.3.5.The detection of looming, the motion of objects in depth, underlies many behavioral tasks, including the perception of self-motion and time-to-collision. A number of studies have demonstrated that one of the most important cues for looming detection is optic flow, the pattern of motion across the retina. Schrater et al. have suggested that changes in spatial frequency over time, or scale changes, may also support looming detection in the absence of optic flow (P. R. Schrater, D. C. Knill, & E. P. Simoncelli, 2001). Here we used an adaptation paradigm to determine whether the perception of looming from optic flow and scale changes is mediated by single or separate mechanisms. We show first that when the adaptation and test stimuli were the same (both optic flow or both scale change), observer performance was significantly impaired compared to a dynamic (non-motion, non-scale change) null adaptation control. Second, we found no evidence of cross-cue adaptation, either from optic flow to scale change, or vice versa. Taken together, our data suggest that optic flow and scale changes are processed by separate mechanisms, providing multiple pathways for the detection of looming.We thank Jonathan Victor and the anonymous reviewers of the paper for feedback and suggestions regarding the stimuli used here. This work was supported by NIH grant R01NS064100 to LMV. (R01NS064100 - NIH)Accepted manuscrip

Topics: Science & technology, Life sciences & biomedicine, Ophthalmology, Motion-3D, Visual cortex, Human visual system, 2nd-order motion, Area MT, Frequency-selectivity, Temporal frequency, 1st-order motion, Brain damage, Human vision, First order, Adaptation, physiological, Cues, Depth perception, Humans, Optic flow, Size perception, Space perception, Visual pathways, Medical and health sciences, Psychology and cognitive sciences, Experimental psychology
Publisher: 'Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)'
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1167/11.3.5
OAI identifier:

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