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1 Introduction Research has shown that the visual and vestibular systems play particularly important
 

Summary: 1 Introduction
Research has shown that the visual and vestibular systems play particularly important
roles in the perception of self-motion (Dichgans and Brandt 1978; Howard 1982). The
visual system can detect any type of self-motion (active or passive, linear or rotary,
constant-velocity, or accelerating) from the optic flow presented to the moving observer
(Brandt et al 1973; Johansson 1977; Lishman and Lee 1973). However, the vestibular
system of the inner ear can only detect accelerations of the head [based on the inertia
of the fluid in the semicircular canals and the otoconia of the otolith organs (Benson
1990; Brandt and Dieterich 1999; Howard 1986; Lishman and Lee 1973)]. The prevailing
explanation of how these two sensory systems interact to produce the perception of self-
motion will be referred to henceforth as `visual ^ vestibular conflict' theory (eg Zacharias
and Young 1981).(1) According to this theory, when stationary observers view a motion-
picture taken inside a car accelerating from rest up to a constant velocity, they should
initially feel that they are stationary owing to the following visual ^ vestibular conflict:
their optic flow indicates self-acceleration but the vestibular activity that normally accom-
panies this type of self-acceleration is absent. A visually induced illusion of self-motion
(referred to as vection) should only occur later, during the motion-picture segment
representing constant-velocity linear self-motion, since vestibular activity would not be
expected to accompany this type of optic flow.
According to Zacharias and Young's theory: (i) visual ^ vestibular conflict (eg the

  

Source: Allison, Robert - Department of Computer Science, York University (Toronto)

 

Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences; Biology and Medicine