The aperture problem--II. Spatial integration of velocity information along contours

Vision Res. 1988;28(6):747-53. doi: 10.1016/0042-6989(88)90053-3.


There exists a class of two-dimensional figures (including cumulative gaussian waveforms) whose contours have a limited range of orientations. These figures can appear as highly nonrigid if they undergo pure translation in the image plane. In the case of the cumulative gaussian waveform, it is the region around the inflection point that appears as nonrigid. Motivated by Hildreth's (1984) proposal, we made 5 predictions which were confirmed by the data: (0), rigidity of a figure can be dramatically increased if one attaches line terminators to the figure; (1), moving terminators "on" the figure increase rigidity far more than such terminators "off" the figure; (2) decreasing the velocity of the terminator decreases rigidity; (3) decreasing the distance between the terminator and the inflection point increases rigidity; (4) the effect of a moving terminator can be blocked by interposing a stationary terminator between it and a nonrigidly moving portion of the curve.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology
  • Rotation
  • Time Factors