Locomotor illusions are generated by perceptual body-environment organization

Dobricki, Martin; Weibel, David; Angelini, Leonardo; Mugellini, Elena; Mast, Fred W. (2021). Locomotor illusions are generated by perceptual body-environment organization. PLoS ONE, 16(5), e0251562. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0251562

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While one is walking, the stimulation by one’s body forms a structure with the stimulation by the environment. This locomotor array of stimulation corresponds to the human-environment relation that one’s body forms with the environment it is moving through. Thus, the perceptual experience of walking may arise from such a locomotor array of stimulation. Humans can also experience walking while they are sitting. In this case, there is no stimulation by one’s walking body. Hence, one can experience walking although a basic component of a locomotor array of stimulation is missing. This may be facilitated by perception organizing the sensory input about one’s body and environment into a perceptual structure that corresponds to a locomotor array of stimulation. We examined whether locomotor illusions are generated by this perceptual formation of a locomotor structure. We exposed sixteen seated individuals to environmental stimuli that elicited either the perceptual formation of a locomotor structure or that of a control structure. The study participants experienced distinct locomotor illusions when they were presented with environmental stimuli that elicited the perceptual formation of a locomotor structure. They did not experience distinct locomotor illusions when the stimuli instead elicited the perceptual formation of the control structure. These findings suggest that locomotor illusions are generated by the perceptual organization of sensory input about one’s body and environment into a locomotor structure. This perceptual body-environment organization elucidates why seated human individuals experience the sensation of walking without any proprioceptive or kinaesthetic stimulation.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

UniBE Contributor:

Weibel, David and Mast, Fred

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

1932-6203

Publisher:

Public Library of Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

David Weibel

Date Deposited:

14 Jul 2021 16:49

Last Modified:

14 Jul 2021 16:49

Publisher DOI:

10.1371/journal.pone.0251562

PubMed ID:

33974677

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/156374

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/156374

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