Using stimuli composed of two independent gratings viewed through multiple apertures, we investigate a number of parameters affecting the integration of locally ambiguous motions into globally coherent motion. In four experiments, we varied local factors (grating spatial frequency, speed, contrast, duty cycle, orientation) and global factors (degree of similarity and common fate between the gratings, and symmetry in the configuration of the grating pattern) and examined their effects on global motion coherence. Our results, confirming accounts offered by previous investigators, indicate that local competition between motion signals generated by contours (ambiguous) and their line terminations (unambiguous) is important in determining global motion coherence in multiple-aperture stimuli. Our results also indicate that global factors can affect perceived coherence independently of local motion signals, suggesting the involvement of higher-level motion areas and a role for non-motion processes such as those involved in pattern and form perception. Comparing motion coherence with other two-dimensional (2-D) stimuli (plaids) shows that 2-D multiple-aperture stimuli are not analogous and that coherence models derived from plaid stimuli do not account for the data.

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Vision Research
Department of Neuroscience

Alais, D., van der Smagt, M., van den Berg, A., & van de Grind, W. (1998). Local and global factors affecting the coherent motion of gratings presented in multiple apertures. Vision Research, 38(11), 1581–1591. doi:10.1016/S0042-6989(97)00331-3