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  Visual-Vestibular Integration in Gymnasts

von Lassberg, C., Beykirch, K., Mühlbauer, T., & Krug, J. (2004). Visual-Vestibular Integration in Gymnasts. Poster presented at 7th Tübingen Perception Conference (TWK 2004), Tübingen, Germany.

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von Lassberg, C, Author
Beykirch, K1, 2, Author           
Mühlbauer, T, Author
Krug, J, Author
1Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497797              
2Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, Spemannstrasse 38, 72076 Tübingen, DE, ou_1497794              


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 Abstract: Berger et al. [1] have shown the general dominance of visual to vestibular perception in a setting of combined stimulation requiring integration of sensory modalities. In the present study
we evaluate different integration strategies during presentation of dissociated visual-vestibular
stimuli as a function of the individual spacial orientation ability of the subjects. We present the
results of the gymnasts for discussion. The subjects (n = 10, age: 10–13, height: 140,33 +/-
4,09, mass: 32,89 +/- 2,32) were rotated in a spherical chamber, with simultaneous presentation
of a planetarium type visual stimulus with an independently controlled velocity. Testing
consisted of a standardized randomized sequence of 26 horizontal rotations in both directions
with different visual-vestibular dissociation factors (the difference between the velocities, normalized
to the rotational velocity). The factors presented were in steps of 0.2 between 1 and
-1, and additionally 2 and -2. Auditory stimuli were blocked using headphones. The rotatory
stimulus consisted of a velocity step of 60deg/s with a duration of 6 seconds. After each turn,
two questions were asked: 1. “Which direction did the stars turn in relation to you?” (to control
for visual perception and concentration) 2. “Which direction did the stars turn in relation to
the room?” (to test the visual-vestibular integration). Correlation analysis of correct responses
to question 2 against the individual “perrotatory space orientation ability” (PSO) as independantly
evaluated by three coaches was performed. Results: A positive correlation between
the visual-vestibular dissociation factors and the number of correct answers to question 2 was
found [Pearson: r = 0,81 with positive dissociation factor (determination coefcient: 0,65); r =
0,81 with negative dissociation factor (determination coefcient: 0,66)]. However, there was a
negative correlation tendency between the ratio of the correct answers and the PSO of the subjects
(Spearman, rank using the coach questionnaires:k=0.60, determination coefcient: 0,36).
Discussion: The rst result corresponds to previous work and demonstrates the dominance of
visual to vestibular perception for lower dissociation factors. More remarkable is the second
result showing the higher the PRO, the worse the ability to determine the stars' direction. The
results require one to consider that perhaps the gymnasts have learned to give a superior weight
to the visual information over the vestibular sensation, not as an integrative strategy, but rather
a form of sensory ltering. This opens the discussion for how best to evaluate the integrative
or ltering abilities of the age-matched group of non-athletes.


 Dates: 2004-02
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: BibTex Citekey: vonLassbergBMK2004
 Degree: -


Title: 7th Tübingen Perception Conference (TWK 2004)
Place of Event: Tübingen, Germany
Start-/End Date: 2004-01-30 - 2004-02-01

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Title: 7th Tübingen Perception Conference: TWK 2004
Source Genre: Proceedings
Bülthoff, HH1, Editor           
Mallot, HA, Editor           
Ulrich, RD, Editor
Wichmann, FA1, Editor           
1 Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497794            
Publ. Info: Kirchentellinsfurt, Germany : Knirsch
Pages: - Volume / Issue: - Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 74 Identifier: ISBN: 3-927091-68-5