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The relative role of visual and non-visual cues in determining the perceived direction of "up": experiments in parabolic flight



The relative role of visual and non-visual cues in determining the perceived direction of "up": experiments in parabolic flight



Acta Astronautica 56(9-12): 1025-1032



In order to measure the perceived direction of "up", subjects judged the three-dimensional shape of disks shaded to be compatible with illumination from particular directions. By finding which shaded disk appeared most convex, we were able to infer the perceived direction of illumination. This provides an indirect measure of the subject's perception of the direction of "up". The different cues contributing to this percept were separated by varying the orientation of the subject and the orientation of the visual background relative to gravity. We also measured the effect of decreasing or increasing gravity by making these shape judgements throughout all the phases of parabolic flight (0 g, 2 g and 1 g during level flight). The perceived up direction was modeled by a simple vector sum of "up" defined by vision, the body and gravity. In this model, the weighting of the visual cue became negligible under microgravity and hypergravity conditions.

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Accession: 050714462

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 15838949

DOI: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2005.01.030


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