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Proceedings Paper

The perception of linear self-motion
Author(s): Frank H. Durgin; Laura F. Fox; Evan Schaffer; Rabi Whitaker
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Paper Abstract

VR lends itself to the study of intersensory calibration in self-motion perception. However, proper calibration of visual and locomotor self-motion in VR is made complicated by the compression of perceived distance and by unfamiliar modes of locomotion. Although adaptation is fairly rapid with exposure to novel sensorimotor correlations, here we show that good initial calibration is found when both (1) the virtual environment is richly structured in near space (1 m) and (2) locomotion is on solid ground. Previously it had been observed that correct visual speeds seem too slow when walking on a treadmill. Several principles may be involved, including inhibitory sensory prediction (Durgin et al., in press), distance compression, and missing peripheral flow in the reduced FOV (Banton et al., in press). However, though a richly-structured near-space environment provides higher rates of peripheral flow, it does not improve calibration when walking on a treadmill. Conversely, walking on solid ground does not improve calibration in an empty (though well-textured) virtual hallway. Because walking on solid ground incorporates well-calibrated mechanisms that can assess speed of self-motion independent of vision, our observations suggest that near space is also better calibrated in our HMD. Near-space obstacle avoidance systems may also be involved.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 March 2005
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5666, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging X, (18 March 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.610864
Show Author Affiliations
Frank H. Durgin, Swarthmore College (United States)
Laura F. Fox, Swarthmore College (United States)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Evan Schaffer, Swarthmore College (United States)
Rabi Whitaker, Swarthmore College (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5666:
Human Vision and Electronic Imaging X
Bernice E. Rogowitz; Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas; Scott J. Daly, Editor(s)

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