Spatial phase differences can drive apparent motion
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Can shape differences drive apparent motion? Results from previous research are equivocal. Much of the confusion may be due to the use of relatively complex stimuli: letters or geometric shapes, comprising many spatial frequencies, phases, orientations, and contrasts. We focus on relatively simple stimuli: Gaussian damped f+nf compound sinewave gratings. We examine whether relative phase differences, which are critical for shape perception, can drive apparent motion. We find that some, but not all, phase differences can drive apparent motion. Specifically, stimuli that are easily discriminable and perceptually dissimilar can affect the solution of the correspondence problem. In this case, observers consistently perceive stimuli in one frame moving to the position of perceptually similar stimuli in the next frame. This general result holds over a wide range of spatial frequencies, orientations, and contrasts. Implications for theories of motion processing are discussed.
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