Motion direction, luminance contrast, and speed perception: An unexpected meeting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Motion direction and luminance contrast are two central features in the representation of visual motion in humans. In five psychophysical experiments, we showed that these two features affect the perceived speed of a visual stimulus. Our data showed a surprising interaction between contrast and direction. Participants perceived downward moving stimuli as faster than upward or rightward stimuli, but only at high contrast. Likewise, luminance contrast produced an underestimation of motion speed, but mostly when the stimuli moved downward. We explained these novel phenomena by means of a theoretical model, accounting for prior knowledge of motion dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Vision
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2019


  • Luminance contrast
  • Motion direction
  • Speed perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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