Author(s): Sarre G, Berard J, Fung J, Lamontagne A
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Abstract Optic flow is a typical pattern of visual motion that can be used to control locomotion. While the ability to discriminate translational or rotational optic flows have been extensively studied, how these flows control steering during locomotion is not known. The goal of this study was to compare the steering behaviour of subjects subjected to rotational, translational, or combined (rotational added to translational) optic flows with a focus of expansion (FOE) located to the right, left, or straight ahead. Ten healthy young subjects were instructed to walk straight in a virtual room viewed through a helmet mounted display while the location of the FOE was randomly offset. Horizontal trajectory of the body's centre of mass (CoM), as well as rotations of the head, trunk and foot were recorded in coordinates of both the physical and virtual worlds. Results show that subjects experienced a mediolateral shift in CoM opposite to the FOE location, with larger corrections being observed at more eccentric FOE locations. Head and body segment reorientations were only observed for optic flows containing a rotational component. CoM trajectory corrections in the physical world were also of small magnitude, leading to deviation errors in the virtual world. Altogether, these results suggest a profound influence of vision, especially due to the pattern of visual motion, on steering behaviours during locomotion.
This article was published in Neurosci Lett
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy