Under appropriate conditions, a target moving in discrete steps can appear to move smoothly and continuously even within the portions of the path where no physical stimulus is present. We investigated the nature of this interpolated motion in attentive tracking displays as well as apparent motion. The results showed that the apparent location of the target moved smoothly through space between the two discrete locations and the judgements of interpolated motion for attentive tracking and apparent motion were comparable to those for continuous motion in both the perceived path and the precision of the judgements. There were few, if any, differences between judgements for real and interpolated motion. An alignment procedure showed that the smooth change in location judgements was real and not a consequence of averaging across discrete locations actually seen on each trial. We also found that the slowest alternation rate which supported accurate location judgements corresponded to a critical SOA of about 500 ms, similar to the longest SOA which supported a subjective impression of motion in the display. Deviations from a constant velocity which were shorter than 200 ms did not register in the judged motion path, suggesting a fairly long time constant for the integration of velocity information into the perceived motion. These results suggest a specialized motion analysis which provides an accurate, explicit model of the interpolated motion path. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.
- Motion perception