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J. Farley Norman, Cory Burton, Leah Best; Modulatory effects of binocular disparity and aging upon the perception of speed. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):486. doi: 10.1167/10.7.486.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Two experiments investigated modulatory effects of a surround upon the perceived speed of a moving central region. Both the surround's depth and velocity (relative to the center) were manipulated. The abilities of younger observers (mean age was 23.1 years) were evaluated in Experiment 1, while Experiment 2 was devoted to older participants (mean age was 71.3 years). The results of Experiment 1 revealed that changes in the perceived depth of a surround (in this case caused by changes in binocular disparity) significantly influence the perceived speed of a central target. In particular, the center's motion was perceived as fastest when the surround possessed uncrossed binocular disparity relative to the central target. This effect, that targets that are closer than their background are perceived to be faster, only occurred when the center and surround moved in the same directions (and did not occur when center and surround moved in opposite directions). The results of Experiment 2 showed that the perceived speeds of older adults are different: older observers generally perceive nearer targets as faster both when center and surround move in the same direction and when they move in opposite directions. In addition, the older observers' judgments of speed were less precise. These age-related changes in the perception of speed are broadly consistent with the results of recent neurophysiological investigations that find age-related changes in the functionality of cortical area MT.
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