Exterospecific component of the motion parallax field

J Opt Soc Am. 1981 Aug;71(8):953-7. doi: 10.1364/josa.71.000953.


For the egocentric orientation of observers moving with respect to a plane (e.g., pilots and automobile drivers), the movement parallax field provides the main cue. The parallax field is split into a lamellar and a solenoidal part, and it is shown that the solenoidal part is purely propriospecific. For instance, it can be shown that this component can be completely canceled by an appropriate eye movement. Thus all exterospecific information is contained in the lamellar part, and this part is completely determined by the divergence of the parallax field. Thus the measure of expansion of the visual field as a function of direction of gaze is sufficient to provide all information available for egocentric orientation. It is further shown that the widely used focus of expansion, as introduced by Gibson, is not invariant against eye movements and does not (in general) correspond to extrema of the divergence.

MeSH terms

  • Eye Movements
  • Humans
  • Mathematics
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Orientation / physiology*
  • Visual Fields