Publication Details

Palmisano, S. A. & Gillam, B. (1998). Stimulus eccentricity and spatial frequency interact to determine circular vection. Perception, 27 (9), 1067-1077.


While early research suggested that peripheral vision dominates the perception of selfmotion, subsequent studies found little or no effect of stimulus eccentricity. In contradiction to these broad notions of 'peripheral dominance' and 'eccentricity independence', the present experiments showed that the spatial frequency of optic flow interacts with its eccentricity to determine circular vection magnitude—central stimulation producing the most compelling vection for high-spatial-frequency stimuli and peripheral stimulation producing the most compelling vection for lower-spatial-frequency stimuli. This interaction appeared to be due, in part at least, to the effect that the higher-spatial-frequency moving pattern had on subjects' ability to organise optic flow into related motion about a single axis. For example, far-peripheral exposure to this highspatial- frequency pattern caused many subjects to organise the optic flow into independent local regions of motion (a situation which clearly favoured the perception of object motion not selfmotion). It is concluded that both high-spatial-frequency and low-spatial-frequency mechanisms are involved in the visual perception of self-motion—with their activities depending on the nature and eccentricity of the motion stimulation.