Sensitivity to image motion contrast, that is, the relative motion between different parts of the visual field, is a common and computationally important property of many neurons in the visual pathways of vertebrates. Here we illustrate that, as a classification problem, motion contrast detection is linearly nonseparable. In order to do so, we prove a theorem stating a sufficient condition for linear nonseparability. We argue that nonlinear combinations of local measurements of velocity at different locations and times are needed in order to solve the motion contrast problem.

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