Spatiotemporal energy models for the perception of motion

J Opt Soc Am A. 1985 Feb;2(2):284-99. doi: 10.1364/josaa.2.000284.


A motion sequence may be represented as a single pattern in x-y-t space; a velocity of motion corresponds to a three-dimensional orientation in this space. Motion sinformation can be extracted by a system that responds to the oriented spatiotemporal energy. We discuss a class of models for human motion mechanisms in which the first stage consists of linear filters that are oriented in space-time and tuned in spatial frequency. The outputs of quadrature pairs of such filters are squared and summed to give a measure of motion energy. These responses are then fed into an opponent stage. Energy models can be built from elements that are consistent with known physiology and psychophysics, and they permit a qualitative understanding of a variety of motion phenomena.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Orientation
  • Space Perception / physiology*
  • Time Perception / physiology*