Hess R F, Zaharia A G, 2010, "Light stops play: motion at low luminance" Perception 39 ECVP Abstract Supplement, page 150
Light stops play: motion at low luminance
R F Hess, A G Zaharia
Objective: It is difficult to play cricket or any other sport involving a fast moving ball at low light levels. This could be due to the fact that object visibility depends on light level or to a specific loss of motion detection per se at low light levels. Although a number of studies have addressed this issue in the past, none have adequately controlled for the detectability of motion stimuli at different light levels. Method: We use global motion stimuli comprising spatial frequency bandpass elements whose detectability across scale could be measured and equated across light level. We measure central as well as peripheral global motion detection for a range of spatial frequencies (0.5–3 cpd and velocities (2–84°/s) Result: Although contrast detection thresholds for global motion discrimination do vary with luminance in the characteristic way, motion coherence thresholds do not. This is true even at low velocities (2°/s) Conclusion: Coherence thresholds for global motion are invariant with light levels over a very large spatiotemporal range. What stops play is not our inability to encode motion but our inability to see what is moving.
[Supported by NSERC (#46528-06)]
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