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Driving effects of retinal flow properties associated with eccentric gaze

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Readinger,  WO
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Chatziastros,  A
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Cunningham,  DW
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, 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;

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Readinger, W., Chatziastros, A., Cunningham, D., & Bülthoff, H. (2001). Driving effects of retinal flow properties associated with eccentric gaze. Poster presented at Twenty-fourth European Conference on Visual Perception, Kusadasi, Turkey.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-E230-9
Abstract
There has been growing evidence expressing the computational (and perhaps practical) difficulty of recovering heading from retinal flow when the observer is looking away from his path. Despite this, it is generally accepted that retinal-flow information plays a significant role in the control of locomotion. The experiments reported here attempt to address one meaningful behavioural consequence associated with this situation. Specifically, we consider eccentric gaze and its effects on automobile steering. In three conditions, we measured drivers' steering performance on a straight road, located in a textured ground plane, and presented in a 180 deg field-of-view projection theatre. Consistent with earlier findings, at eccentricities from 15 to 45 deg away from heading direction, subjects' lateral position on the road tended significantly towards their direction of gaze (p < 0.001), but eccentricities of as little as 5 deg from heading direction also significantly affected position on the road surface (p < 0.01). Furthermore, this effect was found to scale based on small (±5 deg) changes in gaze-movement angle, but not with speed of travel through the environment. We propose, therefore, a model of steering performance in such situations resulting from characteristics of the retinal flow immediately surrounding the point of fixation.