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The effect of contextual motion on perceived speed, plaid direction and binocular rivalry

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Host: Jenny Bosten, Department of Experimental Psychology

It is well established that the perceived speed of a target stimulus can be strongly modulated by surrounding motion (a phenomenon often termed simultaneous motion contrast). Psychophysical experiments show that at medium target speeds (1deg/sec), the modulation is directionally tuned, with same direction surrounds generally reducing perceived target speed, and opposite direction surrounds increasing it. These processes are broadly tuned spatially, and increase in magnitude with surround speed. I will present evidence that such effects occur at an early stage of processing, before the calculation of pattern motion direction. Dominance during binocular rivalry is also found to depend on perceived speed, rather than physical speed, which also points to an early locus for contextual influences. These results will be discussed with reference to findings from single-cell physiology, as well as other psychophysical surround effects which are often attributed to surround suppression in extra-striate areas (i.e. MT).

This talk is part of the Craik Club series.

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