Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


This thesis examines how the visual system solves the motion correspondence problem. In four related experiments, subjects indicated the perceived direction of movement of an element that could, for a single display, be seen to move either to the left or to the right. It was found that thresholds for this direction detection task could be influenced by the presence of an unambiguously moving context. In general, there was a tendency to see the test element move in the same direction as the context. These results indicate that when the visual system solves the motion correspondence problem, interdependencies between the movements of different display elements are taken into account. It is hypothesized that the visual system attempts to minimize the relative velocity of elements, because in the three-dimensional world, the cohesiveness of matter dictates that elements near one another on a moving object should have similar motions. This relative velocity constraint was applied in two related computer simulation models. These models computed the same correspondence matches as computed by the human visual system for many different apparent motion displays. These results indicated that the relative velocity constraint can serve as a plausible natural constraint on solutions to the motion correspondence problem.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.