Optic flow based perception of two-dimensional trajectories and the effects of a single landmark.

Bertin, R.J.V. and Israël, I. (2001) Optic flow based perception of two-dimensional trajectories and the effects of a single landmark. [Preprint]


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It is well established that human observers can detect their heading direction on a very short time scale on the basis of optic flow (500ms; Hooge et al., 2000). Can they also integrate these perceptions over time to reconstruct a 2D trajectory simulated by the optic flow stimulus? We investigated the visual perception and reconstruction of passively travelled two-dimensional trajectories from optic flow with and without a single landmark. Stimuli in which translation and yaw are unyoked can give rise to illusory percepts; using a structured visual environment instead of only dots can improve perception of these stimuli. Does the additional visual and/or extra-retinal information provided by a single landmark have a similar, beneficial effect? Here, seated, stationary subjects wore a head-mounted display showing optic flow stimuli that simulated various manoeuvres: linear or curvilinear 2D trajectories over a horizontal ground plane. The simulated orientation was either fixed in space, fixed relative to the path, or changed relative to both. Afterwards, subjects reproduced the perceived manoeuvre with a model vehicle, of which we recorded position and orientation. Yaw was perceived correctly. Perception of the travelled path was less accurate, but still good when the simulated orientation was fixed in space or relative to the trajectory. When the amount of yaw was not equal to the rotation of the path, or in the opposite direction, subjects still perceived orientation as fixed relative to the trajectory. This caused trajectory misperception because yaw was wrongly attributed to a rotation of the path. A single landmark could improve perception.

Item Type:Preprint
Keywords:path reconstruction, ego-motion; optic flow; linear heading, circulpath reconstruction, ego-motion; optic flow; linear heading, circular heading; landmark; heading; landmark; vision.
Subjects:Neuroscience > Behavioral Neuroscience
Neuroscience > Neuropsychology
Psychology > Psychophysics
ID Code:2121
Deposited By:Bertin, Dr R.J.V.
Deposited On:08 Mar 2002
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54

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