September 2005
Volume 5, Issue 8
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2005
Switching behavior in moving obstacle avoidance
Author Affiliations
  • Jonathan A. Cohen
    Brown University
  • Hugo Bruggeman
    Brown University
  • William H. Warren
    Brown University
Journal of Vision September 2005, Vol.5, 312. doi:10.1167/5.8.312
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      Jonathan A. Cohen, Hugo Bruggeman, William H. Warren; Switching behavior in moving obstacle avoidance. Journal of Vision 2005;5(8):312. doi: 10.1167/5.8.312.

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

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Purpose: Previous work by Warren, Di, & Fajen (VSS, 2003) investigated the paths people take to avoid a moving obstacle en route to a goal. These results were used to extend a dynamical model for stationary and moving obstacle avoidance (Fajen & Warren, JEP:HPP, 2003). The current study tests the model for the critical conditions in which participants switch from passing in front of a moving obstacle to passing behind it. We then generalize the model to environments containing both moving and stationary obstacles.

Methods: Studies are conducted in the Virtual Environment Navigation Lab, a 12m × 12m space allowing for free movement in a virtual world. Participants wear a head-mounted display (HMD) with a 60° (H) × 40° (V) field of view of a virtual environment consisting of a textured ground plane. They are instructed to walk towards a stationary goal (blue post) while avoiding a moving obstacle (red post). Head position and orientation are recorded using a hybrid inertial/ultrasonic tracking system that samples their movements at 60 Hz, and updates the display with a 50 ms latency.

Design: To create critical switching conditions, the speed and direction of the moving obstacle are manipulated. In Experiment 1, the obstacle moves on a 70°, 90° (frontal plane), or 110° trajectory, crossed with speeds of 0.4, 0.6, and 0.8 m/s. Experiment 2 adds a stationary obstacle near the participant's observed path.

Implications: Results from these studies test and refine the obstacle avoidance components of the steering dynamics model. Related studies test the component for moving target interception (Owens & Warren, VSS 2004, 2005; Bruggeman & Warren, VSS 2005), with the aim of integrating these components into a general model of locomotor behavior in complex environments.

Cohen, J. A. Bruggeman, H. Warren, W. H. (2005). Switching behavior in moving obstacle avoidance [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 5(8):312, 312a,, doi:10.1167/5.8.312. [CrossRef]
 NIH EY10923, NSF LIS IRI-9720327

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