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Paul R. MacNeilage, Carmel A. Levitan, Martin S. Banks; Relative weights of static and dynamic visual cues in the perception of body roll. Journal of Vision 2006;6(6):188. doi: 10.1167/6.6.188.
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Visual and non-visual cues, both static and dynamic, affect perception of body orientation relative to gravity. Prior research has investigated the relative influence of static orientation and dynamic rotation vestibular signals (from the otoliths and canals, respectively) on perceived body roll. We used a cue-conflict paradigm to directly compare the influence of static orientation and dynamic rotation visual cues. Vestibular stimulation was provided by rolling the subject. Visual stimulation was provided by a stereo display attached to the rolling device. Subjects set a visible rod to earth-vertical after being rolled to the target angle. In static conditions, the visual scene appeared only when the target angle was reached. In dynamic conditions, a rotating scene was visible throughout. The speed of the visual rotation was varied relative to the speed of the body rotation. Four visual scenes were used: 1) dynamic room scene; 2) static room; 3) static cube; 4) dynamic random-dot cloud. Subjects' settings were always a compromise between the visual and vestibular stimuli. The weights given to the visual stimulus varied systematically with the type of scene. The most weight was given to the dynamic room scene and the least to the dynamic random-dot cloud. Static orientation and dynamic rotation information both contribute to body orientation judgments, but static orientation information is weighted more highly. Alternative models for the combination of static and dynamic visual and non-visual cues are considered.
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