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Multisensory integration for action in natural and virtual environments


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

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Bülthoff, H. (2008). Multisensory integration for action in natural and virtual environments. Talk presented at Workshop on Natural Environments Tasks and Intelligence (NETI 2008). Austin, TX, USA.

Many experiments which study the mechanisms by which different senses interact in humans focus on perception. In most natural tasks, however, sensory signals are not ultimately used for perception, but rather for action. The effects of the action are sensed again by the sensory system, so that perception and action are complementary parts of a dynamic control system. In our cybernetics research group at the Max Planck Institute in Tuebingen, we use psychophysical, physiological, modeling and simulation techniques to study how cues from different sensory modalities are integrated by the brain to perceive and act in the real world. In psychophysical studies, we could show that humans integrate multimodal sensory information often but not always in a statistically optimal way, such that cues are weighted according to their reliability. In this talk I will also present our latest simulator technology using an omni-directional treadmill and a new type of flight simulator based on an anthropomorphic robot arm.