Matching optical flow to motor speed in virtual reality while running on a treadmill

Abstract : We investigated how visual and kinaesthetic/efferent information is integrated for speed perception in running. Twelve moderately trained to trained subjects ran on a treadmill at three different speeds (8, 10, 12 km/h) in front of a moving virtual scene. They were asked to match the visual speed of the scene to their running speed-i.e., treadmill's speed. For each trial, participants indicated whether the scene was moving slower or faster than they were running. Visual speed was adjusted according to their response using a staircase until the Point of Subjective Equality (PSE) was reached, i.e., until visual and running speed were perceived as equivalent. For all three running speeds, participants systematically underestimated the visual speed relative to their actual running speed. Indeed, the speed of the visual scene had to exceed the actual running speed in order to be perceived as equivalent to the treadmill speed. The underestimation of visual speed was speed-dependent, and percentage of underestimation relative to running speed ranged from 15% at 8km/h to 31% at 12km/h. We suggest that this fact should be taken into consideration to improve the design of attractive treadmill-mediated virtual environments enhancing engagement into physical activity for healthier lifestyles and disease prevention and care.
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Submitted on : Monday, January 14, 2019 - 4:46:30 PM
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Martina Caramenti, Claudio Lafortuna, Elena Mugellini, Omar Abou Khaled, Jean-Pierre Bresciani, et al.. Matching optical flow to motor speed in virtual reality while running on a treadmill. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2018, 13 (4), pp.e0195781. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0195781⟩. ⟨hal-01980826⟩

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