Human perception of verticality: Psychophysical experiments on the centrifuge and their neuronal implications

Mast, Fred W. (2000). Human perception of verticality: Psychophysical experiments on the centrifuge and their neuronal implications. Japanese psychological research, 42(4), pp. 194-206. Blackwell Publishing 10.1111/1468-5884.00146

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The role of the otoliths in the perception of verticality is analyzed in two different gravitational environments, 1 g and 1.5 g, and in different roll body positions between upright and upside down. The subjective visual vertical (SVV) is determined when a subject judges the orientation of an indicator as apparently vertical. An increase of g level hardly affects the SVV in the subject's frontal plane (y‐z plane). However, for the first time, a three‐dimensionally adjustable indicator was used for the SVV and this revealed a new phenomenon: An increase of g level induces a backward slant of the SVV into subject's median plane (x‐z plane). The data are discussed with regard to Mittelstaedt's SVV theory; particular emphasis is given to the otolith‐head coordinate transformation and the normalization of afferent otolith components. The results of this study provide evidence that the former is implemented at an earlier level and thus precedes the latter.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology

UniBE Contributor:

Mast, Fred


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology




Blackwell Publishing




Jeannette Gatschet

Date Deposited:

20 Nov 2020 10:53

Last Modified:

20 Nov 2020 10:53

Publisher DOI:





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