Asymmetries in the sensitivity to motion in depth: a centripetal bias

M. Edwards, D. R. Badcock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

113 Citations (Scopus)


It is reasonable to ask whether observers are more sensitive to the pattern of image motion caused by forward locomotion through the environment than to the pattern caused by backward locomotion. The distribution of sensitivities of cells in MT does show such a bias, although this bias is minimal at small eccentricities. Additionally, both locomotion-induced stimulation and the sensitivities of MT cells suggest greater sensitivity should be obtained in the lower visual field. Previous research on this issue has usually employed frontoparallel motion in patterns presented to one side of the fixation point. Both centrifugal and centripetal biases have been obtained. In this study the stimuli present motion signals that travel radially from (or towards) the fixation point. These stimuli, which produce a strong percept of motion in depth, are an adaptation of the global-dot-motion stimulus employed by Newsome and Pare. With these stimuli we find that sensitivity to motion in depth is greater in the lower visual field than in the upper visual field, and that sensitivity is greater to centripetal motion than to either centrifugal or frontoparallel motion. This centrifugal bias in sensitivity decreases with eccentricity. The last two findings contradict the notion that the bias is produced by the visual experience induced by normal forward locomotion and also that the detection of motion in depth is subserved by MT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1013-1023
Number of pages11
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

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