A biologically inspired modular VLSI system for visual measurement of self-motion

Charles M. Higgins, Shaikh Arif Shams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


We introduce a biologically inspired computational architecture for small-field detection and wide-field spatial integration of visual motion based on the general organizing principles of visual motion processing common to organisms from insects to primates. This highly parallel architecture begins with two-dimensional (2-D) image transduction and signal conditioning, performs small-field motion detection with a number of parallel motion arrays, and then spatially integrates the small-field motion units to synthesize units sensitive to complex wide-field patterns of visual motion. We present a theoretical analysis demonstrating the architecture's potential in discrimination of wide-field motion patterns such as those which might be generated by self-motion. A custom VLSI hardware implementation of this architecture is also described, incorporating both analog and digital circuitry. The individual custom VLSI elements are analyzed and characterized, and system-level test results demonstrate the ability of the system to selectively respond to certain motion patterns, such as those that might be encountered in self-motion, at the exclusion of others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)508-528
Number of pages21
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002


  • Address event representation
  • Analog VLSI
  • Asynchronous digital communication
  • Biomimetic
  • Self-motion
  • Spatial integration
  • Visual motion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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