Observers viewed random-dot optical flow displays that simulated self-motion on a circular path and judged whether they would pass to the right or left of a target at 16 m. Two dots in 2 frames are theoretically sufficient to specify circular heading if the orientation of the rotation axis is known. Heading accuracies were better than 1.5° with a ground surface, wall surface, and 3-dimensional cloud of dots and were constant over densities down to 2 dots, consistent with the theory. However, there was an inverse relation between the radius of the observer's path and constant heading error, such that at small radii observers reported heading 3° to the outside of the actual path with the ground and to the inside with the wall and cloud. This may be an artifact of a small display screen.
Warren, W., D. Mestre, A. Blackwell, and Michael Morris. "Perception of circular heading from optical flow." Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 17 (1991): 28-43.
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