Strong percepts of motion through depth without strong percepts of position in depth

Bas Rokers, Lawrence K. Cormack, Alexander C. Huk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Encoding the motion of objects through three spatial dimensions is a fundamental challenge for the visual system. Two binocular cues could contribute to the perception of motion through depth: changes in horizontal disparity (CD) and interocular velocity differences (IOVD). Although conceptually distinct, both cues are typically present when real objects move. Direct experimental isolation of the putative IOVD cue has remained elusive, and it is therefore unclear to what extent the visual system relies on it. We have found that binocularly anticorrelated stimuli impair position in depth judgments, but motion through depth judgments for the same stimuli are relatively unaffected. This dissociation of directfon of motion from position in depth provides strong evidence that percepts of motion through depth are not based exclusively on estimating changes in disparity. Horizontal IOVDs appear to complement the CD. cue. Vertical IOVDs fail to yield comparable performance, further implicating a comparison of horizontal interocular velocity and also ruling out explanations of our results based on monocular cues. These results suggest that (1) IOVDs are a robust cue to motion through depth; (2) IOVDs and retinal disparities exhibit similar horizontal/vertical anisotropies, consistent with the geometry of binocular viewing; and (3) binocular anticorrelation provides means to titrate the relative contributions of CD and IOVD cues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6
JournalJournal of vision
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 15 2008


  • Anticorrelation
  • Depth
  • Disparity
  • Motion
  • Stereomotion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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