Author(s): Lepecq JC, De Waele C, MertzJosse S, Teyssdre C, Huy PT,
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Abstract The present study aimed at determining whether vestibular inputs contribute to the perception of the direction of self-motion. This question was approached by investigating the effects of binaural bipolar galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS) on visually induced self-motion (i.e., vection) in healthy subjects. Stationary seated subjects were submitted to optokinetic stimulation inducing either forward or upward linear vection. While perceiving vection, they were administered trapezoidal GVS of different intensities and ramp durations. Subjects indicated the shape and direction of their perceived self-motion path throughout the experiment by a joystick, and after each trial by the manipulation of a 3D mannequin. Results show that: 1) GVS induced alterations of the path of vection; 2) these alterations occurred more often after GVS onset than after GVS offset; 3) the occurrence of vection path alterations after GVS onset depended on the intensity of GVS but not on the steepness of the GVS variation; 4) the vection path deviated laterally according to either an oblique or a curved path; and 5) the vection path deviated toward the cathode side after GVS onset. It is the first time that vestibular information, already known to contribute to the induction of vection, is shown to modify self-motion perception during the course of vection.
This article was published in J Neurophysiol
and referenced in Journal of Ergonomics