Putting order into the development of sensitivity to global motion
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We studied differences in the development of sensitivity to first-versus second-order global motion by comparing the motion coherence thresholds of 5-year-olds and adults tested at three speeds (1.5, 6, and 9 degrees s(-1)). We used Random Gabor Kinematograms (RGKs) formed with luminance-modulated (first-order) or contrast-modulated (second-order) concentric Gabor patterns with a sinusoidal spatial frequency of 3c deg(-1). To achieve equal visibility, modulation depth was set at 30% for first-order Gabors and at 100%, for second-order Gabors. Subjects were 24 adults and 24 5-year-olds. For both first- and second-order global motion, the motion coherence threshold of 5-year-olds was less mature for the slowest speed (1.5 degrees s(-1)) than for the two faster speeds (6 and 9 degrees s(-1)). In addition, at the slowest speed, the immaturity was greater for second-order than for first-order global motion. The findings suggest that the extrastriate mechanisms underlying the perception of global motion are different, at least in part, for first- versus second-order signals and for slower versus faster speeds. They also suggest that those separate mechanisms mature at different rates during middle childhood.
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