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Humans can extract distance and velocity from vestibular perceived acceleration

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84287

von der Heyde,  M
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84170

Riecke,  BE
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons83870

Cunningham,  DW
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

von der Heyde, M., Riecke, B., Cunningham, D., & Bülthoff, H. (2000). Humans can extract distance and velocity from vestibular perceived acceleration. Poster presented at 7th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, San Francisco, CA, USA.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-E513-F
Abstract
Purpose: The vestibular system is known to measure accelerations for linear forward movements. Can humans integrate these vestibular signals to derive reliably distance and velocity estimates? Methods: Blindfolded naive volunteers participated in a psychophysical experiment using a Stewart-Platform motion simulator. The vestibular stimuli consisted of Gaussian-shaped translatory velocity profiles with a duration of less than 4 seconds. The full two-factorial design covered 6 peak accelerations above threshold and 5 distances up to 25cm with 4 repetitions. In three separate blocks, the subjects were asked to verbally judge on a scale from 1 to 100 traveled distance, maximum velocity and maximum acceleration. Results: Subjects perceived distance, velocity and acceleration quite consistently, but with systematic errors. The distance estimates showed a linear scaling towards the mean and were independent of accelerations. The correlation of perceived and real velocity was linear and showed no systematic influence of distances or accelerations. High accelerations were drastically underestimated and accelerations close to threshold were overestimated, showing a logarithmic dependency. Conclusions: Despite the fact that the vestibular system measures acceleration only, one can derive peak velocity and traveled distance from it. Interestingly, even though maximum acceleration was perceived non linear, velocity and distance was judged consistently linear.