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Human sensitivity to different motion intensities

MPS-Authors
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84102

Nesti,  A
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons83808

Beykirch,  K
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84148

Pretto,  P
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons83839

Bülthoff,  HH
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Nesti, A., Beykirch, K., Pretto, P., & Bülthoff, H. (2012). Human sensitivity to different motion intensities. Poster presented at 13th Conference of the Junior Neuroscientists of Tübingen (NeNA 2012), Schramberg, Germany.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-B572-F
Abstract
Sensory information processes leading to human self-motion perception have been modelled in the past in terms of visual and inertial stimulations and their interactions. The models, validated through many psychophysical experiments, rely on the assumption that our sensitivity to supra-threshold self-motion is not affected by motion intensity. In other words, the relationship between motion stimulus intensity and human sensitivity to motion is assumed to be linear. However, recent studies have shown that this relationship is non-linear, in particular at higher motion intensity. Therefore, the implementation of nonlinearities in the computational models of human motion perception would increase their accuracy over a wider range of motion stimulus intensity. Here we test human sensitivity for sinusoidal yaw rotation in darkness at frequencies of 0.5 Hz and 1 Hz and velocity amplitudes ranging between 0 and 90 deg/s. In a two interval force choice experimental paradigm, subjects undergo two consecutive rotations in the same direction for each trial. One of these movements is repeated unchanged in every trial, while the other systematically varies in amplitude. Subjects are asked to report after each trial which one of the two movements was stronger. An adaptive staircase adjusts the motion for every trial to identify the smallest detectable change in stimulus intensity (differential threshold). Results show a power law relationship between differential thresholds and stimulus intensity, meaning that sensitivity decreases as motion becomes stronger. No frequency effect is observed. These findings are of particular interest for the field of vehicle motion simulation, where knowledge about self-motion perception is widely exploited to overcome the physical limitations of motion-based simulators. Furthermore, the identification of perceptual nonlinearities in multisensory stimulation will guide future work into understanding the neural mechanisms responsible for self-motion perception.