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[Q] Visual detection of moving vs. stationary stimuli

MAROTTA at sscl.uwo.ca MAROTTA at sscl.uwo.ca
Wed Mar 23 10:12:35 EST 1994

In article <HUCKA.94Mar22230939 at squint.engin.umich.edu> hucka at engin.umich.edu (Michael Hucka) writes:
>From: hucka at engin.umich.edu (Michael Hucka)
>Subject: [Q] Visual detection of moving vs. stationary stimuli
>Date: 22 Mar 94 23:09:39

>I'd like to learn whether the ability to detect moving stimuli is always
>present in creatures that have visual capabilities.  Specifically:

>1) Are we able to say whether the ability to detect moving stimuli in vision
>is any more fundamental than the ability to detect stationary stimuli?  I.e.,
>is there any theory about whether vision first evolved to detect moving
>stimuli and only later developed the ability to also detect stationary
>stimuli (say, stationary objects), or vice versa?

>2) Does anyone know of any creature that has some sort of vision system but
>cannot sense visual motion?

>Thanks for any suggestions or leads.
>-- Mike Hucka
>   University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.
I don't think so.  If you have a visual system that can't detect motion what
purpose is it?  There is a theory that vision evolved so creatures could see
what they want to eat and see what is trying to eat them.  If you can't
detect motion then presumably you couldn't detect optic flow or self-motion
and this would be really difficult for locomotion.

There are creatures that have a more highly dependent on motion detection 
than acuity of stationary objects.  A lot of lizard (amphibian) creatures are
like this.  Also dinosaurs if Jurassic Park was correct.

Jonathan Marotta
Neuroscience Program
U.W.O. Canada

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