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John P Wann, Richard M Wilkie; The role of gaze fixation in locomotor control. Journal of Vision 2003;3(9):556. doi: 10.1167/3.9.556.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
At VSS 2001 & 2002 we presented data on the use of retinal flow & visual direction information in controlling steering (in press JEP:HPP & Current Biology), and also on gaze fixation patterns during heading and steering tasks. Here we link the two into a theory of path planning and locomotor control based on active gaze. In this scheme the performer fashions their future trajectory through a series of path fixations. The locomotor control system then acts as an attractor to the point of fixation by nulling the rotation components of retinal flow (rather than optic flow) and non-visual (gaze-angle) information. This system differs from that of Fajen & Warren (VSS 2001 & 2002) in that its does not require any estimate of target of obstacle distance and is robust to errors in the estimation of heading, visual angle or rotation rates. It also provides a clear mechanism for skill learning and refinement whereby the advanced performer learns WHERE to look and WHEN to yield a “racing line” or specific safety margin.
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