Slow and Smooth: A Bayesian Theory for the Combination of Local Motion Signals in Human Vision

Unknown author (1998-02-01)

In order to estimate the motion of an object, the visual system needs to combine multiple local measurements, each of which carries some degree of ambiguity. We present a model of motion perception whereby measurements from different image regions are combined according to a Bayesian estimator --- the estimated motion maximizes the posterior probability assuming a prior favoring slow and smooth velocities. In reviewing a large number of previously published phenomena we find that the Bayesian estimator predicts a wide range of psychophysical results. This suggests that the seemingly complex set of illusions arise from a single computational strategy that is optimal under reasonable assumptions.