June 2006
Volume 6, Issue 6
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2006
Adults, but not infants, use color as a segmentation cue for motion processing
Author Affiliations
  • Karen R. Dobkins
    Psychology Department, UC San Diego
  • Vanitha Sampath
    Psychology Department, UC San Diego
  • Tina Chen
    Psychology Department, UC San Diego
Journal of Vision June 2006, Vol.6, 639. doi:10.1167/6.6.639
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      Karen R. Dobkins, Vanitha Sampath, Tina Chen; Adults, but not infants, use color as a segmentation cue for motion processing. Journal of Vision 2006;6(6):639. doi: 10.1167/6.6.639.

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Abstract

Purpose: Previous studies indicate that infants use color as a motion correspondence cue surprisingly well (Dobkins & Anderson, 2002). Here, we investigated whether color influences motion integration, thought to occur at a later stage in processing. We compared coherent motion thresholds for a “homochromatic” (signal and noise dots both red or both green) versus a “heterochromatic” (signal and noise dots different colors) stimulus. If color acts as a segmentation cue for motion, thresholds should be lower for the “hetero” condition.

Methods: For 3-month-olds (n=16), data were obtained using a Directional (left/right) Eye Movement (DEM) technique. (Stimulus parameters: 43×34 deg display; 603 0.42 deg dots; 25 deg/sec; cone contrast between “red” and “green” = 27.7%; unlimited duration). Adults (n=12) were tested with the same stimuli (yet limited duration), using both psychophysical and DEM techniques. For each subject, a “color benefit ratio” was calculated: THR-homo/THR-hetero. Ratios > 1.0 indicate that color acts as a segmentation cue for motion.

Results: In line with previous studies, the mean adult ratio obtained psychophysically was 2.1. However, the adult ratio decreased to 1.3 with DEM, suggesting that adults use a higher-level strategy when tested psychophysically. The mean infant ratio was 1.0, that is, infants did not use color as a segmentation cue for motion. This null result is unlikely to be accounted for by poor red/green contrast sensitivity.

Conclusions: Possibly, infants use color as a correspondence, but not a segmentation, cue for motion. Alternatively, the use of color as a segmentation cue may require higher-level strategies, which infants lack.

Dobkins, K. R. Sampath, V. Chen, T. (2006). Adults, but not infants, use color as a segmentation cue for motion processing [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 6(6):639, 639a, http://journalofvision.org/6/6/639/, doi:10.1167/6.6.639. [CrossRef]
Footnotes
 NIH/NEI R01-EY12153-06 (KRD)
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