Integration of visual and inertial cues in the perception of angular self-motion

K. N. De Winkel, F. Soyka, M. Barnett-Cowan, H. H. Bülthoff, E. L. Groen, P. J. Werkhoven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


The brain is able to determine angular self-motion from visual, vestibular, and kinesthetic information. There is compelling evidence that both humans and non-human primates integrate visual and inertial (i.e., vestibular and kinesthetic) information in a statistically optimal fashion when discriminating heading direction. In the present study, we investigated whether the brain also integrates information about angular self-motion in a similar manner. Eight participants performed a 2IFC task in which they discriminated yaw-rotations (2-s sinusoidal acceleration) on peak velocity. Just-noticeable differences (JNDs) were determined as a measure of precision in unimodal inertial-only and visual-only trials, as well as in bimodal visual-inertial trials. The visual stimulus was a moving stripe pattern, synchronized with the inertial motion. Peak velocity of comparison stimuli was varied relative to the standard stimulus. Individual analyses showed that data of three participants showed an increase in bimodal precision, consistent with the optimal integration model; while data from the other participants did not conform to maximum-likelihood integration schemes. We suggest that either the sensory cues were not perceived as congruent, that integration might be achieved with fixed weights, or that estimates of visual precision obtained from non-moving observers do not accurately reflect visual precision during self-motion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-218
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Nov


  • Inertial
  • Maximum likelihood
  • Multisensory integration
  • Self-motion
  • Vestibular
  • Visual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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