Modeling depth from motion parallax with the motion/pursuit ratio

Mark Nawrot, Michael Ratzlaff, Zachary Leonard, Keith Stroyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The perception of unambiguous scaled depth from motion parallax relies on both retinal image motion and an extra-retinal pursuit eye movement signal. The motion/pursuit ratio represents a dynamic geometric model linking these two proximal cues to the ratio of depth to viewing distance. An important step in understanding the visual mechanisms serving the perception of depth from motion parallax is to determine the relationship between these stimulus parameters and empirically determined perceived depth magnitude. Observers compared perceived depth magnitude of dynamic motion parallax stimuli to static binocular disparity comparison stimuli at three different viewing distances, in both head-moving and head-stationary conditions. A stereo viewing system provided ocular separation for stereo stimuli and monocular viewing of parallax stimuli. For each motion parallax stimulus, a point of subjective equality was estimated for the amount of binocular disparity that generates the equivalent magnitude of perceived depth from motion parallax. Similar to previous results, perceived depth from motion parallax had significant foreshortening. Head-moving conditions produced even greater foreshortening due to the differences in the compensatory eye movement signal. An empirical version of motion/pursuit law, termed the empirical motion/pursuit ratio, which models perceived depth magnitude from these stimulus parameters, is proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberArticle 1103
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Issue numberSEP
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Depth perception
  • Motion parallax
  • Motion perception
  • Pursuit eye movements
  • Stereopsis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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