Perceptual insensitivity to higher-order statistical moments of coherent random dot motion

Michael L. Waskom, Janeen Asfour, Roozbeh Kiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

When the visual system analyzes distributed patterns of sensory inputs, what features of those distributions does it use? It has been previously demonstrated that higherorder statistical moments of luminance distributions influence perception of static surfaces and textures. Here, we tested whether the brain also represents higher-order moments of dynamic stimuli. We constructed random dot kinematograms, where dots moved according to probability distributions that selectively differed in terms of their mean, variance, skewness, or kurtosis. When viewing these stimuli, human observers were sensitive to the mean direction of coherent motion and to the variance of dot displacement angles, but they were insensitive to skewness and kurtosis. Observer behavior accorded with a model of directional motion energy, suggesting that information about higher-order moments is discarded early in the visual processing hierarchy. These results demonstrate that use of higher-order moments is not a general property of visual perception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9
JournalJournal of Vision
Volume18
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

Visual Perception
Systems Analysis
Brain
Direction compound

Keywords

  • Kurtosis
  • Motion energy
  • Motion perception
  • Random dots
  • Skewness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems

Cite this

Perceptual insensitivity to higher-order statistical moments of coherent random dot motion. / Waskom, Michael L.; Asfour, Janeen; Kiani, Roozbeh.

In: Journal of Vision, Vol. 18, No. 6, 9, 01.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{6f8566c694d4438f9c30debe6da848ac,
title = "Perceptual insensitivity to higher-order statistical moments of coherent random dot motion",
abstract = "When the visual system analyzes distributed patterns of sensory inputs, what features of those distributions does it use? It has been previously demonstrated that higherorder statistical moments of luminance distributions influence perception of static surfaces and textures. Here, we tested whether the brain also represents higher-order moments of dynamic stimuli. We constructed random dot kinematograms, where dots moved according to probability distributions that selectively differed in terms of their mean, variance, skewness, or kurtosis. When viewing these stimuli, human observers were sensitive to the mean direction of coherent motion and to the variance of dot displacement angles, but they were insensitive to skewness and kurtosis. Observer behavior accorded with a model of directional motion energy, suggesting that information about higher-order moments is discarded early in the visual processing hierarchy. These results demonstrate that use of higher-order moments is not a general property of visual perception.",
keywords = "Kurtosis, Motion energy, Motion perception, Random dots, Skewness",
author = "Waskom, {Michael L.} and Janeen Asfour and Roozbeh Kiani",
year = "2018",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1167/18.6.9",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "18",
journal = "Journal of Vision",
issn = "1534-7362",
publisher = "Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Inc.",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Perceptual insensitivity to higher-order statistical moments of coherent random dot motion

AU - Waskom, Michael L.

AU - Asfour, Janeen

AU - Kiani, Roozbeh

PY - 2018/1/1

Y1 - 2018/1/1

N2 - When the visual system analyzes distributed patterns of sensory inputs, what features of those distributions does it use? It has been previously demonstrated that higherorder statistical moments of luminance distributions influence perception of static surfaces and textures. Here, we tested whether the brain also represents higher-order moments of dynamic stimuli. We constructed random dot kinematograms, where dots moved according to probability distributions that selectively differed in terms of their mean, variance, skewness, or kurtosis. When viewing these stimuli, human observers were sensitive to the mean direction of coherent motion and to the variance of dot displacement angles, but they were insensitive to skewness and kurtosis. Observer behavior accorded with a model of directional motion energy, suggesting that information about higher-order moments is discarded early in the visual processing hierarchy. These results demonstrate that use of higher-order moments is not a general property of visual perception.

AB - When the visual system analyzes distributed patterns of sensory inputs, what features of those distributions does it use? It has been previously demonstrated that higherorder statistical moments of luminance distributions influence perception of static surfaces and textures. Here, we tested whether the brain also represents higher-order moments of dynamic stimuli. We constructed random dot kinematograms, where dots moved according to probability distributions that selectively differed in terms of their mean, variance, skewness, or kurtosis. When viewing these stimuli, human observers were sensitive to the mean direction of coherent motion and to the variance of dot displacement angles, but they were insensitive to skewness and kurtosis. Observer behavior accorded with a model of directional motion energy, suggesting that information about higher-order moments is discarded early in the visual processing hierarchy. These results demonstrate that use of higher-order moments is not a general property of visual perception.

KW - Kurtosis

KW - Motion energy

KW - Motion perception

KW - Random dots

KW - Skewness

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85050790184&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85050790184&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1167/18.6.9

DO - 10.1167/18.6.9

M3 - Article

C2 - 30029220

AN - SCOPUS:85050790184

VL - 18

JO - Journal of Vision

JF - Journal of Vision

SN - 1534-7362

IS - 6

M1 - 9

ER -