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Matthew F. Tang, J. Edwin Dickinson, Troy A. W. Visser, Mark Edwards, David R. Badcock; The shape of motion perception: Global pooling of transformational apparent motion. Journal of Vision 2013;13(13):20. doi: 10.1167/13.13.20.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Transformational apparent motion (TAM) is a visual phenomenon highlighting the utility of form information in motion processing. In TAM, smooth apparent motion is perceived when shapes in certain spatiotemporal arrangements change. It has been argued that TAM relies on a separate high-level form-motion system. Few studies have, however, systematically examined how TAM relates to conventional low-level motion-energy systems. To this end, we report a series of experiments showing that, like conventional motion stimuli, multiple TAM signals can combine into a global motion percept. We show that, contrary to previous claims, TAM does not require selective attention, and instead, multiple TAM signals can be simultaneously combined with coherence thresholds reflecting integration across the entire stimulus area. This system is relatively weak, less tolerant to noise, and easily overridden when motion energy cues are sufficiently strong. We conclude that TAM arises from high-level form-motion information that enters the motion system by, at least, the stage of global motion pooling.
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