May 2008
Volume 8, Issue 6
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2008
Left/right asymmetries in the contribution of body orientation to the perceptual upright
Author Affiliations
  • Heather Jenkin
    Department of Psychology, York University
  • Michael Barnett-Cowan
    Department of Psychology, York University, and Centre for Vision Research, York University
  • Richard Dyde
    Centre for Vision Research, York University
  • Jeff Sanderson
    Centre for Vision Research, York University
  • Michael Jenkin
    Department of Computer Science and Engineering, York University, and Centre for Vision Research, York University
  • Laurence Harris
    Department of Psychology, York University, and Centre for Vision Research, York University
Journal of Vision May 2008, Vol.8, 1062. doi:10.1167/8.6.1062
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      Heather Jenkin, Michael Barnett-Cowan, Richard Dyde, Jeff Sanderson, Michael Jenkin, Laurence Harris; Left/right asymmetries in the contribution of body orientation to the perceptual upright. Journal of Vision 2008;8(6):1062. doi: 10.1167/8.6.1062.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION The direction of the orientation at which objects and characters are most easily recognized, the perceived upright has been modelled as a weighted vector sum of the directions defined by the body's long axis (egocentric), gravity, and visible cues (Dyde et al. 2006, Exp. Brain Res.). This model predicts symmetrical responses such that subjects lying left or right side down relative to gravity should exhibit mirror symmetric patterns of responses. Such symmetry is also expected if torsional eye orientation dependent upon body orientation relative to gravity or visual orientation relative to the body is included in the model. METHODS Nineteen subjects drawn from researchers and students at York University participated. The Oriented Character Recognition Test (OCHART - described in Dyde et al. 2006) was administered while subjects viewed several orientations of visual background while either upright, left side down, or right side down relative to gravity. OCHART identifies the perceptual upright using the perceived identity of letters. RESULTS Responses revealed a systematic difference between the response pattern when lying left side down and lying right side down. This asymmetry can be modelled by a leftwise bias in the perceived orientation of the body relative to its actual orientation. DISCUSSION The asymmetry in the effect of body orientation is reminiscent of the left-leaning asymmetry in determining the direction of light coming from above (Mamassian & Goutcher 2001 Cognition 81:B1). The asymmetry might reflect a similar tendency to perceive the body as tilted.

Jenkin, H. Barnett-Cowan, M. Dyde, R. Sanderson, J. Jenkin, M. Harris, L. (2008). Left/right asymmetries in the contribution of body orientation to the perceptual upright [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 8(6):1062, 1062a, http://journalofvision.org/8/6/1062/, doi:10.1167/8.6.1062. [CrossRef]
Footnotes
 LRH and MJ acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). MBC is supported by NSERC and the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) Vision Health Research Training Program.
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