Self-motion through a three-dimensional array of objects creates a radial flow pattern on the retina. We superimposed a simulated object moving in depth on such a flow pattern to investigate the effect of the flow pattern on judgments of both the time to collision (TTC) with an approaching object and the trajectory of that object. Our procedure allowed us to decouple the direction and speed of simulated self motion-in-depth (MID) from the direction and speed of simulated object MID. In Experiment 1 we found that objects with the same closing speed were perceived to have a higher closing speed when self-motion and object-motion were in the same direction and a lower closing speed when they were in the opposite direction. This effect saturated rapidly as the ratio between the speeds of self-motion and object-motion was increased. In Experiment 2 we found that the perceived direction of object-MID was shifted towards the focus of expansion of the flow pattern. In Experiments 3 and 4 we found that the erroneous biases in perceived speed and direction produced by simulated self-motion were significantly reduced when binocular information about MID was added. These findings suggest that the large body of research that has studied motion perception using stationary observers has limited applicability to situations in which both the observer and the object are moving.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems