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Spatial non-homogeneity of the antagonistic surround in motion perception

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ignacio Serrano-PedrazaORCiD, Ellen Hogg, Professor Jenny ReadORCiD


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At high contrast, duration thresholds for motion direction discrimination deteriorate with increasing stimulus size. This counterintuitive result has been explained by the center-surround antagonism present in the neurons of visual area MT. Conversely, at very low contrast, direction discrimination improves with increasing size, a result that has been explained by spatial summation. In this investigation, we study the effects of stimulus shape and contrast on center-surround antagonism. Using adaptive Bayesian staircases, we measured duration thresholds of 5 subjects for vertically oriented Gabor patches of 1 cycle/deg with two types of oval Gaussian windows, one vertically elongated (Sx = 0.35, Sy = 2.5 deg) and other horizontally elongated (Sx = 2.5, Sy = 0.35 deg) moving rightward or leftward at a speed of 2 deg/s. We found that at high contrast (92%) duration thresholds were lower for vertically than horizontally elongated windows. However, at low contrast (2.8%), we found that duration thresholds were lower for horizontally than vertically elongated windows. These asymmetric results mirror the spatial non-homogeneity of the antagonistic surround found in MT neurons and suggest that the underlying center-surround antagonism is stronger along the direction of motion.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Serrano-Pedraza I, Hogg EL, Read JCA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Vision

Year: 2011

Volume: 11

Issue: 2

Pages: 3

Print publication date: 03/02/2011

ISSN (electronic): 1534-7362

Publisher: Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology


DOI: 10.1167/11.2.3

Notes: Article no. 3


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Funder referenceFunder name
80154Medical Research Council
UF041260Royal Society