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Proceedings Paper

Navigation based on a sensorimotor representation: a virtual reality study
Author(s): Christoph Zetzsche; Christopher Galbraith; Johannes Wolter; Kerstin Schill
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Paper Abstract

We investigate the hypothesis that the basic representation of space which underlies human navigation does not resemble an image-like map and is not restricted by the laws of Euclidean geometry. For this we developed a new experimental technique in which we use the properties of a virtual environment (VE) to directly influence the development of the representation. We compared the navigation performance of human observers under two conditions. Either the VE is consistent with the geometrical properties of physical space and could hence be represented in a map-like fashion, or it contains severe violations of Euclidean metric and planar topology, and would thus pose difficulties for the correct development of such a representation. Performance is not influenced by this difference, suggesting that a map-like representation is not the major basis of human navigation. Rather, the results are consistent with a representation which is similar to a non-planar graph augmented with path length information, or with a sensorimotor representation which combines sensory properties and motor actions. The latter may be seen as part of a revised view of perceptual processes due to recent results in psychology and neurobiology, which indicate that the traditional strict separation of sensory and motor systems is no longer tenable.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 February 2007
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 6492, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XII, 64921G (12 February 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.711121
Show Author Affiliations
Christoph Zetzsche, Univ. of Bremen (Germany)
Christopher Galbraith, Univ. of Bremen (Germany)
Johannes Wolter, Univ. of Bremen (Germany)
Kerstin Schill, Univ. of Bremen (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6492:
Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XII
Bernice E. Rogowitz; Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas; Scott J. Daly, Editor(s)

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