Research Project

I study the motion perception of non-rigid objects. Object motion perception is the ability to detect a moving object in the field of vision and to estimate its velocity and direction based on visual cues. It is essential for correct perception of our environment but also for the interaction with it. The interaction with a moving object is often complex as the future position and orientation have to be estimated and humans developed the capabilities to do so accurately.

While enormous efforts have been made to research object motion perception, the special properties of non-rigid objects have been overlooked so far. Non-rigid objects can change their form and appearance over time. This includes flexible objects which are near constant in volume and always show sharp boundaries like a rope but also dynamic objects like vortices in water, that can also change volume, split themselves or combine with other objects and have no sharp boundaries to the environment.

My research project has three consecutive aims. First to measure the human capability to detect non-rigid object motion and to estimate its speed and direction based on different cues. Second to investigate the emerging effects and to analyse whether they confirm, extend or contradict the current understanding of motion perception in the human brain. And third to develop a refined neurologic model of motion perception based on the new findings.

PhD Committee

Prof. Dr. Markus Lappe
Prof. Dr. Niko Busch
Prof Dr. Heiko Wagner

Conference Contributions

Koerfer, K., & Lappe, M. (2019). Heading Bias based on Conflicting Local Optical Flow and Biological Motion Confirms Independent Processing Paths of Heading Perception and Object Segmentation. Poster presented at the 42nd European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP 2019), Leuven, Belgium.


2018-now Beginning of PhD research project at the Institute of Psychology and Otto Creutzfeldt Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience in Münster, Germany
2015–2018 Master studies in Physics with specialization in Biophysics, University of Münster, Germany
2010-2015 Bachelor studies in Physics, University of Münster, Germany
*1991 Essen, Germany