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  Walking in circles: the role of visual information in navigation

Souman, J., Frissen, I., Sreenivasa, M., & Ernst, M. (2008). Walking in circles: the role of visual information in navigation. Poster presented at 31st European Conference on Visual Perception, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-C7FB-8 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-903D-6
Genre: Poster

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 Creators:
Souman, JL1, 2, 3, Author              
Frissen, I1, 2, 3, Author              
Sreenivasa, MN1, 2, 3, Author              
Ernst, MO2, 3, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497797              
2Research Group Multisensory Perception and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497806              
3Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, Spemannstrasse 38, 72076 Tübingen, DE, ou_1497794              

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 Abstract: Common myth has it that people who get lost in unfamiliar terrain end up walking in circles. We tested whether this is true and what role visual information plays. Participants walked for several hours under various conditions of visual information. Their task was to walk as straight as possible in the direction indicated at the beginning of the experiment. GPS was used to register their walking paths. Participants often walked in circles when blindfolded, although only few exhibited a consistent bias in one direction. In a forest, with ample visual information at short distance but few distant landmarks, participants walked in circles with overcast sky. However, with sunny weather they walked perfectly straight. In the Sahara desert, finally, participants only walked in circles during the night when the moon was not visible, but not when either moon or sun was visible. The results suggest that visual information is critical for walking straight. Furthermore, the mere availability of optic flow is not sufficient; participants needed distant landmarks to walk straight.

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 Dates: 2008-08
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Identifiers: BibTex Citekey: SoumanFSE2007
DOI: 10.1177/03010066080370S101
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Title: 31st European Conference on Visual Perception
Place of Event: Utrecht, The Netherlands
Start-/End Date: 2008-08-24 - 2008-08-28

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Title: Perception
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London : Pion Ltd.
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 37 (ECVP Abstract Supplement) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 41 Identifier: ISSN: 0301-0066
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925509369