The interaction of global motion and global form processing on the perception of implied motion: An equivalent noise approach
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Global motion and global form are proposed to be processed through functionally differentiated independent channels along dorsal (motion) and ventral (form) pathways. However, more recent studies show significant interactions between these pathways by inducing the perception of motion (implied motion) from presenting the independent frames of static Glass patterns. The mechanisms behind such interaction are not adequately understood with studies showing a larger contribution of either a motion or form processing mechanism. In the current study, we adapted the equivalent noise paradigm to disentangle the effect of internal noise (local processing) and sampling efficiency (global processing) on global motion, global form, and the interaction of both on the perception of implied motion using physically equivalent stimuli. Six visually normal observers discriminated the direction or orientation of random dot kinematograms (RDK), static Glass patterns (Glass), and dynamic Glass patterns (dGlass) whose directions/orientations were determined by the means of normal distributions with a range of direction/orientation variances that served as external noise. Thresholds (τ) showed a consistent pattern across observers and external noise levels, where τGlass > τdGlass > τRDK. Nested model comparisons where the thresholds were related to the external noise, internal noise, and the sampling efficiency revealed that the difference in performance between the tasks was best described by the change in sampling efficiency with invariable internal noise. Our results showed that the higher thresholds for implied motion compared to real motion could be due to inefficient pooling of local dipole orientation cues at global processing stages involving motion mechanisms.
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