Self-motion direction discrimination in the visually impaired

Moser, Ivan; Grabherr, Luzia; Hartmann, Matthias; Mast, Fred W. (2015). Self-motion direction discrimination in the visually impaired. Experimental brain research, 233(11), pp. 3221-3230. Springer 10.1007/s00221-015-4389-3

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Despite the close interrelation between vestibular and visual processing (e.g., vestibulo-ocular reflex), surprisingly little is known about vestibular function in visually impaired people. In this study, we investigated thresholds of passive whole-body motion discrimination (leftward vs. rightward) in nine visually impaired participants and nine age-matched sighted controls. Participants were rotated in yaw, tilted in roll, and translated along the interaural axis at two different frequencies (0.33 and 2 Hz) by means of a motion platform. Superior performance of visually impaired participants was found in the 0.33 Hz roll tilt condition. No differences were observed in the other motion conditions. Roll tilts stimulate the semicircular canals and otoliths simultaneously. The results could thus reflect a specific improvement in canal–otolith integration in the visually impaired and are consistent with the compensatory hypothesis, which implies that the visually impaired are able to compensate the absence of visual input.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Other Institutions > Teaching Staff, Faculty of Human Sciences

Graduate School:

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

UniBE Contributor:

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

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

0014-4819

Publisher:

Springer

Funders:

[4] Swiss National Science Foundation

Language:

English

Submitter:

Ivan Moser

Date Deposited:

24 Feb 2016 12:42

Last Modified:

24 Feb 2016 16:05

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s00221-015-4389-3

PubMed ID:

26223579

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Body motion, Psychophysics, Self-motion perception, Sensory threshold, Vestibular, Visual impairment

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.76257

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/76257

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