Motion distorts perceived depth

M. Edwards, David Badcock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Two important tasks that the visual system has to perform are determining the direction of motion and the spatial location of objects. It has recently been shown that the perceived location of an object moving in the frontal-plane is displaced along the direction of motion (e.g. Nature 397 (1999) 610; Vision Research 31 (1991) 1619). The aim of the present study is to examine the extent of this interaction between motion and perceived location. The observers’ task was to indicate which of two vertically separated moving stimuli was closer. The two stimuli were presented at various relative disparity offsets. The stimuli consisted of moving dot patterns (optic-flow) that simulated either fronto-parallel motion (all the dots moved one direction) or motion in depth. Motion of the dots towards the centre of the stimulus simulated object motion away from the observer and motion of the dots away from the centre of the stimulus simulated object motion towards the observer. Results indicate that motion-in-depth information can bias perceived stereoscopic-based depth. Simulated motion towards the observer made the object appear closer to the observer than the depth signalled by the disparity information and simulated motion away from the observer made it seem further away. The results of this study, when combined with those of previous studies, show that motion can distort our entire three dimensional representation of space.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1799-1804
JournalVision Research
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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