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David Kane, Peter Bex, Steven Dakin; Quantifying “the aperture problem” for judgments of motion direction in natural scenes. Journal of Vision 2011;11(3):25. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/11.3.25.
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The response of motion-selective neurons in primary visual cortex is ambiguous with respect to the two-dimensional (2D) velocity of spatially extensive objects. To investigate how local neural activity is integrated in the computation of global motion, we asked observers to judge the direction of a rigidly translating natural scene viewed through 16 apertures. We report a novel relative oblique effect: local contour orientations parallel or orthogonal to the direction of motion yield more precise and less biased estimates of direction than other orientations. This effect varies inversely with the local orientation variance of the natural scenes. Analysis of contour orientations across aperture pairings extends previous research on plaids and indicates that observers are biased toward the faster moving contour for Type I pairings. Finally, we show that observers' bias and precision as a function of the orientation statistics of natural scenes can be accounted for by an interaction between naturally arising anisotropies in natural scenes and a template model of MT that is optimally tuned for isotropic stimuli.
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