Korte's law

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In psychophysics, Korte's law, also known more completely as Korte's third law of apparent motion,[1] is an observation relating the phenomenon of apparent motion to the distance and duration between two successively presented stimuli.[2] It was originally proposed in 1915 by Adolf Korte.[3] A modern formulation of the law is that the greater the length of a path between two successively presented stimuli, the greater the stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) must be for an observer to perceive the two stimuli as a single mobile object. Typically, the relationship between distance and minimal SOA is linear.[2]

Arguably, Korte's law is counterintuitive. One might expect that successive stimuli are less likely to be perceived as a single object as both distance and SOA increase, and therefore, a negative relationship should be observed instead. In fact, such a negative relationship can be observed as well as Korte's law. Which relationship holds depends on speed.[1]


  1. ^ a b Gepshtein, S.; Kubovy, M. (2007). "The lawful perception of apparent motion". Journal of Vision. 7 (8): 9. doi:10.1167/7.8.9. PMID 17685816. 
  2. ^ a b Miller, G. F.; Shepard, R. N. (1993). "An objective criterion for apparent motion based on phase discrimination". Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. 19: 48. doi:10.1037/0096-1523.19.1.48. 
  3. ^ Korte, Adolf (1915). "Kinematoskopische Untersuchungen" [Cinematoscopic investigations]. Zeitschrift für Psychologie (in German). 72: 193–296.