Summary: 284 J. Opt. Soc. Am. A/Vol. 2, No. 2 February 1985 E. H. Adelson and J. R. Bergen
Spatiotemporal energy models for the perception of motion
Edward H. Adelson and James R. Bergen
David Sarnoff Research Center, RCA, Princeton, New Jersey 08540
Received July 9, 1984; accepted October 12, 1984
A motion sequence may be represented as a single pattern in x-y-t space; a velocity of motion corresponds to a
three-dimensional orientation in this space. Motion information can be extracted by a system that responds to
the oriented spatiotemporal energy. We discuss a class of models for human motion mechanisms in which the first
stage consists of linear filters that are oriented in space-time and tuned in spatial frequency. The outputs of quad-
rature pairs of such filters are squared and summed to give a measure of motion energy. These responses are then
fed into an opponent stage. Energy models can be built from elements that are consistent with known physiology
and psychophysics, and they permit a qualitative understanding of a variety of motion phenomena.
When we watch a movie, we see a sequence of images in which
objects appear at a sequence of positions. Although each
frame represents a frozen instant of time, the movie gives us
a convincing impression of motion. Somehow the visual
system interprets the succession of still images so as to arrive
at a perception of a continuously moving scene.
This phenomenon represents one form of apparent motion.