Model of human visual-motion sensing

J Opt Soc Am A. 1985 Feb;2(2):322-41. doi: 10.1364/josaa.2.000322.


We propose a model of how humans sense the velocity of moving images. The model exploits constraints provided by human psychophysics, notably that motion-sensing elements appear tuned for two-dimensional spatial frequency, and by the frequency spectrum of a moving image, namely, that its support lies in the plane in which the temporal frequency equals the dot product of the spatial frequency and the image velocity. The first stage of the model is a set of spatial-frequency-tuned, direction-selective linear sensors. The temporal frequency of the response of each sensor is shown to encode the component of the image velocity in the sensor direction. At the second stage, these components are resolved in order to measure the velocity of image motion at each of a number of spatial locations and spatial frequencies. The model has been applied to several illustrative examples, including apparent motion, coherent gratings, and natural image sequences. The model agrees qualitatively with human perception.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Ocular
  • Differential Threshold
  • Discrimination, Psychological
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Space Perception
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Perception / physiology*