The object of this study is to mathematically specify important characteristics of visual flow during translation of the eye for the perception of depth and self-motion. We address various strategies by which the central nervous system may estimate self-motion and depth from motion parallax, using equations for the visual velocity field generated by translation of the eye through space. Our results focus on information provided by the movement and deformation of three-dimensional objects and on local flow behavior around a fixated point. All of these issues are addressed mathematically in terms of definite equations for the optic flow. This formal characterization of the visual information presented to the observer is then considered in parallel with other sensory cues to self-motion in order to see how these contribute to the effective use of visual motion parallax, and how parallactic flow can, conversely, contribute to the sense of self-motion. This article will focus on a central case, for understanding of motion parallax in spacious realworld environments, of monocular visual cues observable during pure horizontal translation of the eye through a stationary environment. We suggest that the global optokinetic stimulus associated with visual motion parallax must converge in significant fashion with vestibular and proprioceptive pathways that carry signals related to self-motion. Suggestions of experiments to test some of the predictions of this study are made.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/gin_mccollum/10/