Constraining a bayesian model of human visual speed perception

Alan A. Stocker, Eero P. Simoncelli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


It has been demonstrated that basic aspects of human visual motion perception are qualitatively consistent with a Bayesian estimation framework, where the prior probability distribution on velocity favors slow speeds. Here, we present a refined probabilistic model that can account for the typical trial-to-trial variabilities observed in psychophysical speed perception experiments. We also show that data from such experiments can be used to constrain both the likelihood and prior functions of the model. Specifically, we measured matching speeds and thresholds in a two-alternative forced choice speed discrimination task. Parametric fits to the data reveal that the likelihood function is well approximated by a LogNormal distribution with a characteristic contrast-dependent variance, and that the prior distribution on velocity exhibits significantly heavier tails than a Gaussian, and approximately follows a power-law function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems 17 - Proceedings of the 2004 Conference, NIPS 2004
PublisherNeural information processing systems foundation
ISBN (Print)0262195348, 9780262195348
StatePublished - 2005
Event18th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NIPS 2004 - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Duration: Dec 13 2004Dec 16 2004

Publication series

NameAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems
ISSN (Print)1049-5258


Other18th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NIPS 2004
CityVancouver, BC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Signal Processing


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