Visual and Vestibular Influences in Human Self-Motion Perception

  • Laurence R. Young


Visual-vestibular interaction is interpreted as one of a more general case of interaction of multiple sensory inputs in the process of estimation of state. Our general approach to this problem, as illustrated in the diagram of Fig. 24-1, has been to consider the human as an optimal state estimator (30,3 1). He takes information coming from the various indicated sensors and combines them with an “expected state” signal which is generated from his inter nal model of what he believes his control mechanisms to be, as reflected in active movements. The estimator produces both an estimate of his current state (rotation, translation, and orientation with respect to the vertical) and an estimate of the conflict in these cues. If the conflicts exceed some threshold, disorientation, motion sickness, and vertigo may result. The development of this conflict is also seen as a necessary one for the process of habituating to an altered environment. The altered environment may either be associated with external changes such as the well-known prism-wearing experiments or the altered environment associated with motion in a rotating vehicle or in a weightless environment, or it may be an internally altered environment, for example, by the removal of one labyrinth.


Visual Field Internal Model Semicircular Canal Motion Sickness Vestibular Nucleus 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1981

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  • Laurence R. Young

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