Eye-specific pattern-motion signals support the perception of three-dimensional motion

J Vis. 2019 Apr 1;19(4):27. doi: 10.1167/19.4.27.


An object moving through three-dimensional (3D) space typically yields different patterns of velocities in each eye. For an interocular velocity difference cue to be used, some instances of real 3D motion in the environment (e.g., when a moving object is partially occluded) would require an interocular velocity difference computation that operates on motion signals that are not only monocular (or eye specific) but also depend on each eye's two-dimensional (2D) direction being estimated over regions larger than the size of V1 receptive fields (i.e., global pattern motion). We investigated this possibility using 3D motion aftereffects (MAEs) with stimuli comprising many small, drifting Gabor elements. Conventional frontoparallel (2D) MAEs were local-highly sensitive to the test elements being in the same locations as the adaptor (Experiment 1). In contrast, 3D MAEs were robust to the test elements being in different retinal locations than the adaptor, indicating that 3D motion processing involves relatively global spatial pooling of motion signals (Experiment 2). The 3D MAEs were strong even when the local elements were in unmatched locations across the two eyes during adaptation, as well as when the adapting stimulus elements were randomly oriented, and specified global motion via the intersection of constraints (Experiment 3). These results bolster the notion of eye-specific computation of 2D pattern motion (involving global pooling of local, eye-specific motion signals) for the purpose of computing 3D motion, and highlight the idea that classically "late" computations such as pattern motion can be done in a manner that retains information about the eye of origin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Ocular / physiology
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Ocular Physiological Phenomena
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*
  • Vision, Binocular / physiology