An advantage for horizontal motion direction discrimination

Karin S. Pilz* (Corresponding Author), Danai Papadaki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Discrimination performance is better for cardinal motion directions than for oblique ones, a phenomenon known as the oblique effect. In a first experiment of this paper, we tested the oblique effect for coarse motion direction discrimination and compared performance for the two cardinal and two diagonal motion directions.

Our results provide evidence for the oblique effect for coarse motion direction discrimination. Interestingly, the oblique effect was larger between horizontal and diagonal than between vertical and diagonal motion directions. In a second experiment, we assessed fine motion direction discrimination for horizontal and vertical motion. It has been suggested that differences in performance strongly depend on motion coherence. Therefore, we tested performance at predetermined motion coherences of 30%, 40%, 50%, 60% and 70%. Unsurprisingly, performance overall increased with increasing motion coherence and angular deviations between control and test stimulus. More importantly, however, we found an advantage for horizontal over vertical fine motion direction discrimination. Noteworthy is the large variability in performance across experimental conditions in both experiments, which highlights the importance of considering individual difference when assessing perceptual phenomena within large groups of naïve participants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-172
Number of pages9
JournalVision Research
Early online date20 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

Bibliographical note

We would like to thank Cosmin Manulescu, Aureja Balatkaite, Alisa Dambe, Hilary Mccall, Sorin Spataru, and Emily Williams for help collecting data for this project. In addition, we would like to thank Sebastiaan Mathôt for helpful discussions on the Bayesian analysis.


  • Motion direction discrimination
  • Motion perception
  • Oblique effect
  • Horizontal motion


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