Influence of correspondence noise and spatial scaling on the upper limit for spatial displacement in fully-coherent random-dot kinematogram stimuli.
Correspondence noise is a major factor limiting direction discrimination performance in random-dot kinematograms . In the current study we investigated the influence of correspondence noise on Dmax, which is the upper limit for the spatial displacement of the dots for which coherent motion is still perceived. Human direction discrimination performance was measured, using 2-frame kinematograms having leftward/rightward motion, over a 200-fold range of dot-densities and a four-fold range of dot displacements. From this data Dmax was estimated for the different dot densities tested. A model was proposed to evaluate the correspondence noise in the stimulus. This model summed the outputs of a set of elementary Reichardt-type local detectors that had receptive fields tiling the stimulus and were tuned to the two directions of motion in the stimulus. A key assumption of the model was that the local detectors would have the radius of their catchment areas scaled with the displacement that they were tuned to detect; the scaling factor k linking the radius to the displacement was the only free parameter in the model and a single value of k was used to fit all of the psychophysical data collected. This minimal, correspondence-noise based model was able to account for 91% of the variability in the human performance across all of the conditions tested. The results highlight the importance of correspondence noise in constraining the largest displacement that can be detected.