Investigation of a patient with severely impaired direction discrimination: evidence against the intersection-of-constraints model

Vision Res. 1994 Jan;34(2):267-77. doi: 10.1016/0042-6989(94)90338-7.


A man with presumed posterior cortical atrophy had a markedly elevated threshold for orientation discrimination (approx. 25 deg) and selective impairment of "pop-out" tasks based on orientation. Direction discrimination for moving plaids was superior to direction discrimination for their component gratings. The superior performance for plaids disappeared when the spatial frequencies of the component gratings were altered to eliminate coherence. This finding implies that extraction of plaid motion is not dependent on pre-processing within narrow spatial frequency bands. It is inconsistent with simulations based on the "intersection of constraints" model, which predict that the error rate for plaids would be larger than the error rate for gratings, particularly for the plaids composed of gratings moving at nearly opposing angles. It is consistent with models such as the Heeger [(1987) Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 4, 1455-1471] model, which extract direction from the pattern of activity across broadly-tuned spatiotemporal filters.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Atrophy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*
  • Perceptual Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Psychophysics
  • Rotation
  • Sensory Thresholds / physiology
  • Visual Cortex / pathology