Restricted ability to recover three-dimensional global motion from one-dimensional motion signals: Psychophysical observations

Nava Rubin, Shaul Hochstein, Sorin Solomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We tested human ability to recover the 3D structure and motion information from time-varying images where only 1D motion cues were available. Under these conditions, observers exhibit poor performance in discriminating between two perpendicular axes of rotation, or discriminating between rigid and non-rigid 3D motion. This behavior of the visual system is to be contrasted with the good depth from motion performance exhibited when 2D motion cues are given in the image, as was found previously in numerous studies, and also in the work presented here. In a related paper, we suggest a theoretical framework in which to understand this differential performance on the basis of the two types of motion cues (1D vs 2D). Our findings are consistent with those of previous studies of frontoparallel motion, where it was shown that in many cases, the 1D cues alone were not integrated by the visual system into the correct global motion percept. This accumulating evidence suggests that oriented (1D) motion detectors alone cannot account for observed human performance of global motion perception, and that the role of units such as point or endpoint detectors should be studied further.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-476
Number of pages14
JournalVision research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1995



  • Kinetic depth effect
  • One-dimensional motion
  • Structure-from-motion
  • Two-dimensional motion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems

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