Superimposed uniform motion shifts the focus of a contracting optic flow field less than the focus of expansion
SourcePerception, 35, (2006), pp. 145
Article / Letter to editor
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The focus of an expanding optic flow field appears to be shifted in the direction of superimposed uniform flow. In this study, we measured the analogous effect in contracting optic flow fields. We find that the shift is much smaller for contraction. In the literature, this illusion has been explained at a global level in terms of a mechanism that removes the effect of eye rotations on expansional flow. This mechanism is assumed to be (erroneously) triggered by the uniform flow. Alternatively, the shift has been explained by local motion induction. In that account, the overlapping flow vectors are subtracted from the expanding flow vectors, yielding the focus shift. Our result suggests that the eye rotation compensation is unequal for expansion and contraction, or that local motion induction is different for motions away from and towards the fovea.
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