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Vestibulo-tactile interactions regarding motion perception and eye movements in yaw

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Author: Bos, J.E. · Erp, J.B.F. van · Groen, E.L. · Veen, H.J. van
Institution: TNO Defensie en Veiligheid
Source:Journal of Vestibular Research: Equilibrium and Orientation, 15, 149 - 160
Identifier: 12993
Keywords: Perception · Angular yaw motion · Human · Motion perception · Motion sickness · Saccades · Slow phase eye velocity · Spatial orientation · Tactile display · Velocity storage · VOR · adult · article · body position · controlled study · disorientation · eye movement · female · human · human experiment · male · motion sickness · movement perception · normal human · priority journal · self control · tactile stimulation · touch · velocity · vestibular stimulation · vestibuloocular reflex · vision · visual stimulation · Adult · Darkness · Eye Movements · Female · Humans · Male · Motion Perception · Rotation · Touch · Vestibule


This paper shows that tactile stimulation can override vestibular information regarding spinning sensations and eye movements. However, we conclude that the current data do not support the hypothesis that tactile stimulation controls eye movements directly. To this end, twenty-four subjects were passively disoriented by an abrupt stop after an increase in yaw velocity, about an Earth vertical axis, up to 120°/s. Immediately thereafter, they had to actively maintain a stationary position despite a disturbance signal. Subjects wore a tactile display vest with 48 miniature vibrators, applied in different combinations with visual and vestibular stimuli. Their performance was quantified by RMS body velocity during self-control. Fast eye movement phases were analyzed by counting samples exceeding a velocity limit, slow phases by a novel method applying a first order model. Without tactile and visual information, subjects returned to a previous level of angular motion. Tactile stimulation decreased RMS self velocity considerably, though less than vision. No differences were observed between conditions in which the vest was active during the recovery phase only or during the disorienting phase as well. All effects of tactile stimulation found on the eye movement parameters could be explained by the vestibular stimulus. © 2005 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.