Motion in depth: Adequate and inadequate simulation

R. Gray, D. Regan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


We measured errors in estimating the absolute time to collision with a simulated approaching textured object. The texture elements were circular bright dots. When we matched the rate of angular expansion of the simulated object, the rate of expansion of the texture dots, and the rate of increase of dot separation, so as to accurately simulate an approaching object, errors were small underestimations that were independent of dot size (mean of 3.2%). When dot angular size was held constant during the simulated approach, errors were the same as when the simulation was accurate, provided that dot size was less than 2.2-4.4 min of arc. As dot size was progressively increased, errors changed to overestimations. For the largest dot size used (10.5 min of arc at time t = 0), time to collision was overestimated by up to 21%. A sufficiently large overestimation would mean that measures taken to avoid collision would be too late. We suggest that the relevance to everyday life of data on the perception of motion in depth and self-motion collected using constant-sized dot displays might be questionable if dot size exceeds 2.2-4.4 min of arc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-245
Number of pages10
JournalPerception and Psychophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems
  • General Psychology


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