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When an array of random dots is displaced, the ability to report the direction of apparent motion is subject to an upper spatial limit (dmax). As the size of the displacement is increased, direction discrimination errors show a monotonic increase that becomes asymptotic at a chance level. We have measured direction discrimination using spatially band-pass filtered random dots. These stimuli do not yield a monotonic increase in errors. Rather, for displacements greater than around 1 cycle of the stimulus centre frequency (Fc), performance oscillates about chance, with displacements of 1 1/4 cycles of Fc yielding systematic errors in perceived direction. We analyse this pattern of performance in terms of the stimulus autocorrelation function and conclude that dmax can be taken as lying on the initial rising portion of the displacement versus error function. Using this definition we find, in line with the results of Chang and Julesz (1985), that dmax scales inversely with Fc. Contrary to the results of Chang and Julesz, we find that this scaling holds beyond 4 c/deg.


Journal article


Vision Res

Publication Date





303 - 316


Discrimination (Psychology), Form Perception, Humans, Male, Mathematics, Motion Perception, Optical Illusions, Pattern Recognition, Visual