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Visual Depth Perception and Mathematica

K.D. Stroyan
Mark Nawrot
Organization: Center for Visual and Cognitive Neuroscience, North Dakota State University

Wolfram Technology Conference 2011
Conference location

Champaign, Illinois, USA

A translating observer viewing a rigid environment experiences "motion parallax," the relative movement upon the observer's retina of variously positioned objects in the scene. This retinal movement of images provides a cue to the relative depth of objects in the environment; however, retinal motion alone cannot mathematically determine the relative depth of objects. Also, Nadler, et al. (Nature 2008) showed that monkeys cannot perceive even "near" or "far" without an extra retinal signal. Nawrot and Joyce (Vis Res 2006) showed experimentally that the ratio of the rate of image motion on the retina and the rate of smooth eye pursuit was important in perception of depth from lateral motion. Nawrot and Stroyan (Vis Res 2009 and J of Math Bio 2011) developed a mathematical theory of the motion/pursuit ratio and verified that people use this cue in central vision. Nadler, Nawrot, et al. (Neuron 2009) showed that monkeys use the extra retinal pursuit signal neurologically to perceive depth sign. Work is ongoing to understand the role of the motion/pursuit ratio, psychophysically, neurologically, and mathematically. Mathematica is playing an important role in the discoveries and communication across disciplines because it can provide powerful, but easy-to-use interactive graphical programs in accessible ways

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VisualDepthPerceptionAndMathematica.zip (11.2 MB) - ZIP archive