von der Heyde M, Bülthoff H H, 2001, "Two strategies to integrate visual-vestibular self motion: comparison of landmark
and optic-flow information" Perception 30 ECVP Abstract Supplement
Two strategies to integrate visual-vestibular self motion: comparison of landmark
and optic-flow information
M von der Heyde, H H Bülthoff
Perception of self turns is crucial for self-localisation and, consequently, for navigation. Yet in most virtual reality (VR) applications turns are misperceived, which leads to disorientation. We compare the effects of optic-flow information (textured ground) and reliable landmark information (town environment) on perceived turns, each in combination with vestibular information. We used a VR setup including a motion simulator (Stewart platform) and a head-mounted display for presenting vestibular and visual stimuli, respectively. The subjects' task was to learn and memorise a sequence of turns that included heading changes between 8.5° and 17°. During a reproduction phase, the gain between the joystick control and the resulting visual and vestibular turns was independently varied by a factor of 1/2½, 1, or 2½. When landmark information was provided, subjects followed a purely visual strategy, thus ignoring conflicting vestibular information. With reduced visual information (optic flow), the modality with the bigger gain factor had a dominant effect on the reproduced turns. Our interpretation is that the integration of visual and vestibular information follows a 'max rule', in which the larger signal is responsible for the perceived and memorised heading change.
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