Apparent position in depth of stationary moving three-dimensional objects.Vision Res. 2007 Jan; 47(1):8-15.VR
Motion signals contained within a stationary object projected on the fronto-parallel plane shift the object's apparent spatial position in the direction of the motion [see De Valois, R. L., & De Valois, K. K. (1991). Vernier acuity with stationary moving Gabors. Vision Research, 31(9), 1619-1626]. We report an analogous apparent position shift of three-dimensional objects that contain local elements that move in depth. Our stimulus was a transparent three-dimensional cylinder defined by 150 limited-lifetime dots, oriented such that it was end on and its tangent plane was circular. Dots moved in depth by changes in their binocular disparities. In the first experiment, observers judged the positions of the near and far ends of the cylinder, by moving marker lines in depth, for different dot speeds. The results showed that when dots moved towards the observer, the perceived location of the two ends of the cylinder appeared closer in depth. When dots moved away from the observer, the opposite effect was produced. Additionally, the amount of apparent position shift produced was dependent on dot speed, with faster speeds producing larger positional offsets. However, we found in the second experiment that when the cylinder contained randomly moving dots, or when the cylinder contained equal amounts of dots moving towards and away from the observer, positional shifts were very much reduced, or abolished. Our findings suggest that motion signals can induce a misperception of position in depth that is similar manner to that produced by motion within an object in the two-dimensional image plane.