‘Motion’ is change in position over time. It is fundamentally dynamic in nature –yet in the majority of psychophysical studies on self-motion perception, researchers inquire about judgments on some static property of motion: participants are asked whether they felt like they were moved clockwise or counterclockwise, to indicate which motion of a pair was more intense, or to point in the direction of a linear motion.
To be able to make such judgments, the central nervous system must somehow aggregate dynamic information on self-motion provided by the senses and summarize it into single judgments.
In this project we want to assess how this could be achieved by the brain. We will use our motion simulator facilities (pictured) to present participants with any of a range of possible motions, differing in characteristics such as duration, amplitude, and nature (i.e., rotation vs. translation). Participants will have to provide static judgments for these different motions. We will look for commonalities in the judgments provided by participants to form hypotheses on how the brain integrates information on self-motion over time, and develop and assess the tenability of models that reflect these hypotheses.
If you are intrigued by this project, comfortable working with participants and modeling, and would like to do research on this topic at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, contact:
Dr. Ksander de Winkel
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics
Dept. Human Perception, Cognition and Action.
Phone: +49 7071 601 -641, Fax: -616