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Julian M. Fernandez, Bart Farell; A new theory of structure-from-motion perception. Journal of Vision 2009;9(11):23. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/9.11.23.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Humans can recover 3-D structure from the projected 2D motion field of a rotating object, a phenomenon called structure from motion (SFM). Current models of SFM perception are limited to the case in which objects rotate about a frontoparallel axis. However, as our recent psychophysical studies showed, frontoparallel axes of rotation are not representative of the general case. Here we present the first model to address the problem of SFM perception for the general case of rotations around an arbitrary axis. The SFM computation is cast as a two-stage process. The first stage computes the structure perpendicular to the axis of rotation. The second stage corrects for the slant of the axis of rotation. For cylinders, the computed object shape is invariant with respect to the observer's viewpoint (that is, perceived shape doesn't change with a change in the direction of the axis of rotation). The model uses template matching to estimate global parameters such as the angular speed of rotation, which are then used to compute the local depth structure. The model provides quantitative predictions that agree well with current psychophysical data for both frontoparallel and non-frontoparallel rotations.
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