Robust 3-D visual perception is achieved by integrating stereoscopic and perspective cues. The canonical model describing the integration of these cues assumes that perspective signals sensed by the left and right eyes are indiscriminately pooled into a single representation that contributes to perception. Here, we show that this model fails to account for 3-D motion perception. We measured the sensitivity of male macaque monkeys to 3-D motion signaled by left-eye perspective cues, right-eye perspective cues, stereoscopic cues, and all three cues combined. The monkeys exhibited idiosyncratic differences in their biases and sensitivities for each cue, including left-and right-eye perspective cues, suggesting that the signals undergo at least partially separate neural processing. Importantly, sensitivity to combined cue stimuli was greater than predicted by the canonical model, which previous studies found to account for the perception of 3-D orientation in both humans and monkeys. Instead, 3-D motion sensitivity was best explained by a model in which stereoscopic cues were integrated with left-and right-eye perspective cues whose representations were at least partially independent. These results indicate that the integration of perspective and stereoscopic cues is a shared computational strategy across 3-D processing domains. However, they also reveal a fundamental difference in how left-and right-eye perspective signals are represented for 3-D orientation versus motion perception. This difference results in more effective use of available sensory information in the processing of 3-D motion than orientation and may reflect the temporal urgency of avoiding and intercepting moving objects.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience