ECVP 2007 Abstract

Cite as:
Calabro F J, Vaina L M, 2007, "Scale changes provide an alternative means for coarse heading perception" Perception 36 ECVP Abstract Supplement

Scale changes provide an alternative means for coarse heading perception

F J Calabro, L M Vaina

We adapted stimuli previously described by Schrater et al (2001 Nature 410 816 - 819) for studying how changes in spatial-frequency content (scale changes) contribute to heading perception. Our stimuli consisted of five textured panels, each containing an optic flow, scale change, or speed gradient corresponding to different simulated velocities towards the observer. In a 5AFC task, eight subjects indicated towards which panel they were moving. They performed best with optic flow (95.8% correct ±11.0%) and scored well above chance with scale changes (69.4±1.2%), but were significantly worse when the only cue was a speed gradient (26.0±2.8%). Results, compared to a display version where the spatial arrangement of the panels was randomized (preventing spatial integration), showed no difference in performance for motion ( p>0.2), scale changes ( p>0.3), or speed ( p>0.2). In an additional control experiment, looming detection from scale changes was similarly worse than detection from optic flow. Taken together, these results suggest that a scale-change detection mechanism provides an alternative means for making efficient, although coarse, heading judgments.
[Supported in part by an NIH grant and a grant from Fondazione Carisbo.]

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