Whole-body motion discrimination in the visually impaired

Moser, Ivan; Grabherr, Luzia; Hartmann, Matthias; Mast, Fred W. (21 April 2014). Whole-body motion discrimination in the visually impaired (Unpublished). In: 24th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Neural Control of Movement/Satellite Meeting. Amsterdam. 21.-25.04.2014.

Visually impaired people show superior abilities in various perception tasks such as auditory attention, auditory temporal resolution, auditory spatial tuning, and odor discrimination. However, with the use of psychophysical methods, auditory and olfactory detection thresholds typically do not differ between visually impaired and sighted participants. Using a motion platform we investigated thresholds of passive whole-body motion discrimination in nine visually impaired participants and nine age-matched sighted controls. Participants were rotated in yaw, tilted in roll, and translated along the y-axis at two different frequencies (0.3 Hz and 2 Hz). An adaptive 3-down 1-up staircase procedure was used along with a two-alternative direction (leftward vs. rightward) discrimination task. Superior performance of visually impaired participants was found in the 0.3 Hz roll tilt condition. No differences between the visually impaired and controls were observed in all other types of motion. The superior performance in the 0.3 Hz roll tilt condition could reflect differences in the integration of extra-vestibular cues and increased sensitivity towards changes in the direction of the gravito-inertial force. In the absence of visual information, roll tilts entail a more pronounced risk of falling, and this could eventually account for the group difference. It is argued that differences in experimental procedures (i.e. detection vs. discrimination of stimuli) explain the discrepant findings across perceptual tasks comparing blind and sighted participants.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


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

Graduate School:

Swiss Graduate School for Cognition, Learning and Memory (SGS-CLM)

UniBE Contributor:

Moser, Ivan; Grabherr, Luzia; Hartmann, Matthias and Mast, Fred


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology




Ivan Moser

Date Deposited:

27 Feb 2015 09:15

Last Modified:

19 Oct 2021 18:08

Additional Information:

Satellite meeting poster session



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