Sensitivity for reverse-phi motion

Roger J.E. Bours, Marijn C.W. Kroes, Martin J. Lankheet*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Low-level contrast information in the primary visual pathway is represented in two different channels. ON-center cells signal positive contrasts and OFF-center cells signal negative contrasts. In this study we address the question whether initial motion analysis is performed separately in these two channels, or also through combination of signals from ON and OFF cells. We quantitatively compared motion coherence detection for regular and for reverse-phi motion stimuli. In reverse-phi motion the contrast of a pattern flips during displacements. Sensitivity is therefore based on correlating positive and negative contrasts, whereas for regular motion it is based on correlating similar contrasts. We compared tuning curves for step size and temporal interval for stimuli in which motion information was limited to a single combination of step size and interval. Tuning for step size and temporal interval was highly similar for the two types of motion. Moreover, minimal coherence thresholds for both types of motion matched quantitatively, irrespective of dot density. We also measured sensitivity for so-called no-phi motion stimuli, in which the contrast of displaced dots was set to zero. Sensitivity for no-phi motion was low for stimuli containing only black or only white dots. When both dot polarities were present in the stimulus, sensitivity was absent. Thus, motion information based on separate contrasts was effectively cancelled by a component based on different contrasts. Together these results show equal efficiency in correlating dots of opposite contrast and of similar contrast, which strongly suggests efficient detection of correlations across ON and OFF channels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalVision Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Motion coherence
  • No-phi motion
  • Reverse-phi motion
  • Step size tuning
  • Temporal tuning

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Sensitivity for reverse-phi motion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this