May 1, 1989

Spatial orientation from optic flow in the central visual field

Perception & Psychophysics
G J Andersen, B P Dyre


Previous research has shown that stimulation of the central visual field with radial flow patterns (produced by forward motion) can induce perceived self-motion, but has failed to demonstrate effects on postural stability of either radial flow patterns or lamellar flow patterns (produced by horizontal translation) in the central visual field. The present study examined the effects of lamellar and radial flow on postural stability when stimulation was restricted to the central visual field. Displays simulating observer motion through a volume of randomly positioned points were observed binocularly through a window that limited the field of view to 15 degrees. The velocity of each display varied according to the sum of four sine functions of prime frequencies. Changes in posture were used to measure changes in perceived spatial orientation. A frequency analysis of postural sway indicated that increased sway occurred at the frequencies of motion simulated in the display for both lamellar and radial flow. These results suggest that both radial and lamellar optic flow are effective for determining spatial orientation when stimulation is limited to the central visual field.

Mentioned in this Paper

Short Interspersed Nucleotide Elements
Visual Fields
Optic Flow
Posture brand of calcium phosphate, tribasic
Congenital Lamellar Cataract
Psychological Orientation

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