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Graeme J. Kennedy, Harry S. Orbach, Gael E. Gordon, Gunter Loffler; Judging the shape of moving objects: Discriminating dynamic angles. Journal of Vision 2008;8(13):9. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/8.13.9.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Studies of shape perception have typically focused on static shapes. Studies of motion perception have mainly investigated speed and direction. None have addressed performance for judging the shape of moving objects. We investigated this by determining the discrimination of geometric angles under various dynamic conditions (translation, rotation, and expansion). Angles were parts of imaginary triangles, defined by three vertex dots. Compared to static angles, results show no significant decline in the precision of angle judgments for any of the three motion types, up to speeds high enough to impair target visibility. Additional experiments provide evidence against a uniform mechanism underlying static and dynamic performance, which could rely on “snapshots” when processing moving angles. Rather, we find support for distinct mechanisms. Firstly, adding noise dots to the display affects rotating and expanding angles substantially more than those which are translating or static. Secondly, the ability to judge angles is unaffected when vertex dots are occluded for short periods. Given the dependence of dot trajectories on the overall triangle motion, the ability to precisely extrapolate the future position of a dot requires distinct computations for translating, expanding, and rotating shapes.
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