The ability of humans to detect an opening's 3-D structure from expanding motion was tested. Computer simulations of dotted tunnels were used to generate optical flows typically encountered when one moves through an opening. Experiment 1 qualitatively tested the ability to detect the shape of a tunnel's vertical section. The observers could choose the correct shape for each of seven simulated shapes. The percentages of correct responses were much higher than those under static conditions. Experiment 2 tested whether or not one could quantitatively detect the vertical-horizontal proportion of the elliptic tunnels. The result shows quite high correlations (r = .93-.97) between perceived proportions and simulated ones. The slopes of the regression lines were around 1.0. Experiment 3 investigated the necessary stimulus duration for detecting an opening's shape. Relative size (width and height) was significantly detected under four-frame (72.7-msec) conditions by 3 out of 4 subjects. The other subject performed well under eight-frame conditions. These results indicate that the human visual system can instantly detect the 3-D structure of an opening surrounded by objects from expanding optical flows while one is in forward motion.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Sensory Systems