Smooth and sampled motion

David C. Burr, John Ross, M. Concetta Morrone

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Stroboscopic or sampled motion is indistinguishable from smooth motion if the frequency of sampling is sufficiently high. We report measurements of the minimum sample frequency for smooth motion of drifting sinusoidal gratings (extended and truncated) which varied in spatial frequency from 0.06 to 24c/deg, in temporal frequency from 1.5 to 24 Hz and in contrast from 3 to 100 times detection threshold. Threshold sampling frequency for smoothness increased with temporal frequency and contrast, and inversely with spatial frequency. The threshold step size associated with the sampling frequency ranged from 20′' arc (for gratings of 24 c/deg) to 6 deg (for gratings of 0.06 c/deg). Calculations of the spurious frequencies introduced by sampling lead us to conclude that motion appears smooth provided that sampling is above the Nyquist limit and that the amplitude of the spurious components is below their independent threshold.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-652
Number of pages10
JournalVision Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1986


  • Vision Stroboscopic motion Sampling Sinusoidal gratings Apparent motion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems

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