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Visual information plays a crucial role in the prospective control of locomotion. It provides observers with the requi-
 

Summary: Visual information plays a crucial role in the prospective
control of locomotion. It provides observers with the requi-
site perceptual information to plan their movements adap-
tively. For example, walkers must lift their feet to avoid
tripping over the curb and veer to avoid slipping on a slick
patch of ice. A variety of visual depth cues--texture gra-
dients, linear perspective, occlusion, motion parallax, bin-
ocular disparity, convergence, and so on--prompt walkers
to lift their legs to clear the curb. But what visual informa-
tion alerts walkers to beware of low-friction conditions?
Are there visual "friction" cues that allow for prospective
control as walkers approach a slippery ground surface? In
four studies, we examined the cues that walkers use to
predict slippery ground surfaces and asked whether visual
information is reliable for specifying friction conditions.
Prospective Control of Walking
Under Low-Friction Conditions
Friction presents an interesting problem for under-
standing the prospective control of locomotion for several
reasons. First, friction is everywhere: It is an emergent,

  

Source: Adolph, Karen - Center for Neural Science & Department of Psychology, New York University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine