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Jaap A. Beintema, Anna Oleksiak, Richard J. A. van Wezel; The influence of biological motion perception on structure-from-motion interpretations at different speeds. Journal of Vision 2006;6(7):4. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/6.7.4.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Nonrigid point-light representations of biological motion are ideal to test higher level influences on structure-from-motion (SFM) perception. Here, we investigated the influence of biological motion perception on 3D SFM interpretations at different speeds. We presented nonrigid biological motion and rigid structures rotating around the vertical axis. The familiarity of the stimuli was changed by presenting three walker types: normal, inverted, and phase scrambled. Subjects had to discriminate rotation in depth and rigidity. We found that at lower-than-natural gait speeds, subjects perceived nonrigid biological motion to be rotating in depth, especially when the walker type was less familiar. In contrast, the percept of rigidity was correct at all speeds. A second experiment, in which a constant fraction of the gait cycle was presented, confirmed the influence of speed and additionally showed that brief displays of a familiar form at a high speed facilitate biological motion interpretations. The more veridical percept of rotation toward higher speeds fits the idea of biological motion channels tuned to higher—more natural walking—speeds that overrule a default assumption to perceive trajectories in depth. We also speculate that the rotation-in-depth percept at lower speeds points toward the existence of low-speed-tuned object motion channels.
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