A Caltech Library Service

Computing optical flow in the primate visual system

Wang, H. Taichi and Mathur, Bimal and Koch, Christof (1989) Computing optical flow in the primate visual system. Neural Computation, 1 (1). pp. 92-103. ISSN 0899-7667. doi:10.1162/neco.1989.1.1.92.

See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Computing motion on the basis of the time-varying image intensity is a difficult problem for both artificial and biological vision systems. We show how gradient models, a well-known class of motion algorithms, can be implemented within the magnocellular pathway of the primate's visual system. Our cooperative algorithm computes optical flow in two steps. In the first stage, assumed to be located in primary visual cortex, local motion is measured while spatial integration occurs in the second stage, assumed to be located in the middle temporal area (MT). The final optical flow is extracted in this second stage using population coding, such that the velocity is represented by the vector sum of neurons coding for motion in different directions. Our theory, relating the single-cell to the perceptual level, accounts for a number of psychophysical and electrophysiological observations and illusions.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Koch, Christof0000-0001-6482-8067
Additional Information:© 1989 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Received 28 October; accepted 6 December 1988. Posted Online March 13, 2008. We thank John Allman, David Van Essen, and Alan Yuille for many fruitful discussions and Andrew Hsu for computing the figure-ground response. Support for this research came from NSF grant EET-8700064, ONR Young Investigator Award and NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award to C.K.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Science FoundationEET-8700064
Office of Naval Research Young Investigator AwardUNSPECIFIED
National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator AwardUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:WANnc89
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:13590
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:11 May 2009 23:00
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 22:39

Repository Staff Only: item control page