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Laurel Issen, Krystel R. Huxlin, David Knill; Spatial integration of optic flow information in direction of heading judgments. Journal of Vision 2015;15(6):14. doi: 10.1167/15.6.14.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
While we know that humans are extremely sensitive to optic flow information about direction of heading, we do not know how they integrate information across the visual field. We adapted the standard cue perturbation paradigm to investigate how young adult observers integrate optic flow information from different regions of the visual field to judge direction of heading. First, subjects judged direction of heading when viewing a three-dimensional field of random dots simulating linear translation through the world. We independently perturbed the flow in one visual field quadrant to indicate a different direction of heading relative to the other three quadrants. We then used subjects' judgments of direction of heading to estimate the relative influence of flow information in each quadrant on perception. Human subjects behaved similarly to the ideal observer in terms of integrating motion information across the visual field with one exception: Subjects overweighted information in the upper half of the visual field. The upper-field bias was robust under several different stimulus conditions, suggesting that it may represent a physiological adaptation to the uneven distribution of task-relevant motion information in our visual world.
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