Luminance texture increases perceived speed

Vision Res. 2007 Mar;47(5):723-34. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2006.11.011. Epub 2007 Feb 1.


Previous psychophysical experiments have demonstrated that various factors can exert a considerable influence on the apparent velocity of visual stimuli. Here, we investigated the effects of superimposing static luminance texture on the apparent speed of a drifting grating. In Experiment 1, we demonstrate that superimposing static luminance texture on a drifting luminance modulated grating can produce an increase in perceived speed. This supports the hypothesis that texture changes perceived speed by providing landmarks to assess relative motion. In Experiment 2, we showed that contrary to static luminance texture, dynamic luminance texture did not increase perceived speed. This demonstrates that texture must provide reliable spatial landmarks in order to generate an increase in perceived speed. The results of Experiment 3 demonstrate that perceived speed depends on the size of the area covered by texture. This suggests that luminance texture and the motion stimulus interacted with each other over a limited spatial scale and that these local responses are then pooled to determine the speed of the motion stimulus. In Experiment 4, we showed that static texture contrast could produce a greater effect than motion stimulus contrast on perceived speed and that these effects could still be observed at brief presentation times. We discuss these findings in the context of models proposed to account for phenomena in the perception of speed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bayes Theorem
  • Contrast Sensitivity
  • Humans
  • Lighting
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Motion Perception*
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Psychophysics