Causal inference in multisensory heading estimation

Ksander N. De Winkel, Mikhail Katliar, Heinrich H. Bülthoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


A large body of research shows that the Central Nervous System (CNS) integrates multisensory information. However, this strategy should only apply to multisensory signals that have a common cause; independent signals should be segregated. Causal Inference (CI) models account for this notion. Surprisingly, previous findings suggested that visual and inertial cues on heading of self-motion are integrated regardless of discrepancy. We hypothesized that CI does occur, but that characteristics of the motion profiles affect multisensory processing. Participants estimated heading of visual-inertial motion stimuli with several different motion profiles and a range of intersensory discrepancies. The results support the hypothesis that judgments of signal causality are included in the heading estimation process. Moreover, the data suggest a decreasing tolerance for discrepancies and an increasing reliance on visual cues for longer duration motions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0169676
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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