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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). Using spatially low-pass filtered random dot kinematograms we show that dmax is dependent on the upper cut-off frequency of the stimulus (Fh). The extent of this dependence is critically dependent on the size of the stimulus. Our results suggest a process whereby low spatial frequency motion information is masked by the presence of high spatial frequencies in the same region of the field, analogous to phenomena occurring in the perception of static form (e.g. the Abraham Lincoln effect). The effects of stimulus size on dmax, found for broad-band stimuli by ourselves and others, result from a loss of high frequency sensitivity at increased retinal eccentricities; this loss reduces the masking effect of high frequencies, as stimulus size increases.


Journal article


Vision Res

Publication Date





317 - 327


Discrimination (Psychology), Fixation, Ocular, Form Perception, Humans, Male, Motion Perception, Optical Illusions, Pattern Recognition, Visual, Perceptual Masking, Visual Fields