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Integration of visual and vestibular information used to discriminate rotational self-motion

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Soyka,  F
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Barnett-Cowan,  M
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Bülthoff,  HH
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Soyka, F., de Winkel, K., Barnett-Cowan, M., Groen, E., & Bülthoff, H. (2011). Integration of visual and vestibular information used to discriminate rotational self-motion. Poster presented at 12th International Multisensory Research Forum (IMRF 2011), Fukuoka, Japan.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-B9C4-4
Abstract
Do humans integrate visual and vestibular information in a statistically optimal fashion when discriminating rotational self-motion stimuli? Recent studies are inconclusive as to whether such integration occurs when discriminating heading direction. In the present study eight participants were consecutively rotated twice (2s sinusoidal acceleration) on a chair about an earth-vertical axis in vestibular-only, visual-only and visual-vestibular trials. The visual stimulus was a video of a moving stripe pattern, synchronized with the inertial motion. Peak acceleration of the reference stimulus was varied and participants reported which rotation was perceived as faster. Just-noticeable differences (JND) were estimated by fitting psychometric functions. The visual-vestibular JND measurements are too high compared to the predictions based on the unimodal JND estimates and there is no JND reduction between visual-vestibular and visual-alone estimates. These findings may be explained by visual capture. Alternatively, the visual precision may not be equal between visual-vestibular and visual-alone conditions, since it has been shown that visual motion sensitivity is reduced during inertial self-motion. Therefore, measuring visual-alone JNDs with an underlying uncorrelated inertial motion might yield higher visual-alone JNDs compared to the stationary measurement. Theoretical calculations show that higher visual-alone JNDs would result in predictions consistent with the JND measurements for the visual-vestibular condition.