Royal Society Publishing

The Perception of Apparent Movement [and Discussion]

S. M. Anstis, D. M. Mackay


When two similar pictures, overlapping but slightly displaced, were projected on a screen in alternation, apparent movement could be seen. How similar must successive pictures be to give apparent movement? This is the 'correspondence problem'. Manipulations of the local and global correspondences between pictures included motion phenomena such as reversed apparent movement; a four-stroke oscillatory cycle which gave an illusion of continuous motion in one direction; edges defined by texture, stereoscopic depth, or flicker, kinetic edges; and wave motion. It was concluded that human motion perception may comprise two separate mechanisms. Local point-by-point correlations between pictures are detected by a relatively peripheral system, probably based on directionally selective neural units. More subtle global correspondences are analysed by a more cognitive system which extracts edges before it processes motion.