Aim of this project is to examine how the brain processes different contributions from specific sensory systems (visualt vestibular and somato-sensory) to generate and store a coherent meaningful motion-related signal.
Motion perception will be inferred from active reproduction or completion of memorised complex trajectories.
Specific contributions will be revealed, respectively, by using blindfolds, by including bilateral vestibular patients sensory-defective patients (e.g. neuropathics) and by performing passive and active self-motion experiments.
Passive self-motion will be obtained by using a mobile robot (Robuter TM), equipped with a racing-car seat. Motion will be recorded by high-accuracy digital odometry. The robot will be controlled either by a remote PC (passive transport) or by the subject on the seat (reproduction). Linear and angular acceleration, speed and position can be separately controlled allowing to change the sensory input to the subjects.
Active self-motion (locomotion) will be studied by using an infra-red TV digital motion recorder (ELITET TM). Subjects will have to reproduce a circular trajectory in different conditions. Head, trunk movements and trajectory kynematics will be recorded and their interrelationship will be quantified in the time and frequency-domain.