Aug 15, 2003

Perception of self-tilt in a true and illusory vertical plane

Eric L GroenI P Howard


A tilted furnished room can induce strong visual reorientation illusions in stationary subjects. Supine subjects may perceive themselves upright when the room is tilted 90 degrees so that the visual polarity axis is kept aligned with the subject. This 'upright illusion' was used to induce roll tilt in a truly horizontal, but perceptually vertical, plane. A semistatic tilt profile was applied, in which the tilt angle gradually changed from 0 degrees to 90 degrees, and vice versa. This method produced larger illusory self-tilt than usually found with static tilt of a visual scene. Ten subjects indicated self-tilt by setting a tactile rod to perceived vertical. Six of them experienced the upright illusion and indicated illusory self-tilt with an average gain of about 0.5. This value is smaller than with true self-tilt (0.8), but comparable to the gain of visually induced self-tilt in erect subjects. Apparently, the contribution of nonvisual cues to gravity was independent of the subject's orientation to gravity itself. It therefore seems that the gain of visually induced self-tilt is smaller because of lacking, rather than conflicting, nonvisual cues. A vector analysis is used to discuss the results in terms of relative sensory we...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Visual Perception
Illusions, Visual
Cataract, Anterior POLAR
Supine Position
Psychological Orientation

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