Effects of gaze on vection from jittering, oscillating, and purely radial optic flow.

Attention, perception & psychophysics

PubMedID: 19933567

Palmisano S, Kim J. Effects of gaze on vection from jittering, oscillating, and purely radial optic flow. Atten Percept Psychophys. 2009;71(8):1842-53.
In this study, we examined the effects of different gaze types (stationary fixation, directed looking, or gaze shifting) and gaze eccentricities (central or peripheral) on the vection induced by jittering, oscillating, and purely radial optic flow. Contrary to proposals of eccentricity independence for vection (e.g., Post, 1988), we found that peripheral directed looking improved vection and peripheral stationary fixation impaired vection induced by purely radial flow (relative to central gaze). Adding simulated horizontal or vertical viewpoint oscillation to radial flow always improved vection, irrespective of whether instructions were to fixate, or look at, the center or periphery of the self-motion display. However, adding simulated high-frequency horizontal or vertical viewpoint jitter was found to increase vection only when central gaze was maintained. In a second experiment, we showed that alternating gaze between the center and periphery of the display also improved vection (relative to stable central gaze), with greater benefits observed for purely radial flow than for horizontally or vertically oscillating radial flow. These results suggest that retinal slip plays an important role in determining the time course and strength of vection. We conclude that how and where one looks in a self-motion display can significantly alter vection by changing the degree of retinal slip.