Research objectives and content
Self-motion is perceived through the vestibular, visual and somesthetic systems. Visual-vestibular interactions have already been thoroughly investigated, but the contribution of the vestibular system was restricted to either the otoliths (linear acceleration sensors) or the semi-circular canals (angular acceleration sensors). Perception of bidimensional (2D) self-motion, which implies both the semi-circular canals and the otoliths, has not been addressed. The central question is the relative contributions of the visual and vestibular systems to the perception of curvature, in passively-travelled 2D trajectories. This will be addressed with a mobile robot and virtual reality (VR), allowing each input to be independently controlled, along bidimensional trajectories. In the main paradigm, subjects will be passively moved along half a circle, with or without visual stimulation, and will have to a) indicate the direction of their rotation and b) 'track' the magnitude of the curvature (subjective curvature), both with a joystick which will be recorded during motion. Latency of direction detection, occurrence of direction errors, and matching between subjective and real curvatures will be analysed, providing data for 2D-multisensory modelling of motion perception
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
To gain experience in modelling of physiological signals, and in psychophysical experiments, to complement my experience in theoretical studies, and building on my biological, physical and general modelling backgrounds.