Psychological Research

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 65–76

Interaction of labyrinthine and somatoreceptor inputs as determinants of the subjective vertical

  • Silvia Lechner-Steinleitner
Article

Summary

Subjects were investigated in a bed rotatable about two axes. With the head erect and the body in a standing, semi-prone or prone position (= pitch) the subject was tilted to the right to one of eight positions between 0° and 150° of roll. During eight minutes the subject aligned a luminous line with the subjective vertical (SV). Differences in the SV between the pitch positions of body were significant for roll tilts above 90°. Individuals differed in the way the SV changed between 90° and 150°, in the scatter in the settings from repeated experiments, and in the degree of influence of pitch positions (= somatoreceptor stimulation). The SV exhibited a distinct time-dependence which was different at tilts below 70° and above. It is concluded that from the two determinants of the SV one (somatoreceptors) loses effectiveness in time because of adaptive processes, while the other (labyrinth) loses effectiveness with increasing deviation of head position from the normal upright; their relative weighting differs from individual to individual.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bauermeister, M., Wapner, S.: Beiträge zur sensori-tonischen Feldtheorie der Wahrnehmung. I. Visuelle und taktilkinästhetische Wahrnehmung der vertikalen Raumrichtung bei seitlicher Körperneigung. Psychol. Forsch. 31, 246–260 (1967)Google Scholar
  2. Bischof, N.: Stellungs-, Spannungs- und Lagewahrnehmung. In: Handbuch der Psychologie, Bd. 1, 409–497 Berlin, Göttingen, Heidelberg: Springer 1966Google Scholar
  3. Bohring, E.G.: Sensation and perception in the history of experimental psychology. New York: Appleton-Century 1942Google Scholar
  4. Brown, J.L.: Orientation to the vertical during water immersion. Aerospace Med. 32, 209–217 (1961)Google Scholar
  5. Clark, B., Graybiel, A.: Perception of the postural vertical following prolonged bodily tilt in normal and subjects with labyrinthine defects. Acta oto-laryng. 58, 143–148 (1964)Google Scholar
  6. Cohen, L.A.: Contributions of tactile, musculo-tendinous and joint mechanism to position sense in human shoulder. J. Neurophysiol. 21, 563–568 (1958)Google Scholar
  7. Correia, M.J., Hixson, W.C., Niven, J.I.: Otolith shear and the visual perception of force direction: discrepancies and a proposed solution. Nami-951. Nasa Order R-93. Pensacola: Naval Aerospace Medical Institute 1965Google Scholar
  8. Dichgans, J., Brandt, Th., Held, R.: The role of vision in gravitational orientation. Fortschr. d. Zool. 23, I, 255–264 (1975)Google Scholar
  9. Fischer, M.H.: Messende Untersuchungen über die Gegenrollung der Augen und die Lokalisation der scheinbaren Vertikalen bei seitlicher Neigung des Gesamtkörpers bis zu 360°. II. Untersuchungen an Normalen. v. Graefes Arch. Ophthal. 123, 476–508 (1930 a)Google Scholar
  10. Fischer, M.H.: Messende Untersuchungen über die Gegenrollung der Augen und die Lokalisation der scheinbaren Vertikalen bei seitlicher Neigung des Körpers, Kopfes und Stammes. III. Untersuchungen an einem Ertaubten mit Funktionsuntüchtigkeit beider Vestibularapparate und einem einseitig Labyrinthlosen. v. Graefes Arch. Ophthal. 123, 509–531 (1930 b)Google Scholar
  11. Fitger, C.: Tactile-kinesthetic space estimation: The influence of gravity. Psyhol. Res. 39, 113–135 (1976)Google Scholar
  12. Fleishman, E.A.: Perception of body position in the absence of visual cues. J. Exp. Psychol. 46, 261–270 (1953)Google Scholar
  13. Gibson, J.J.: The senses considered as perceptual systems. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company Boston 1966Google Scholar
  14. Gibson, J.J., Mowrer, O.H.: Determinants of the perceived vertical and horizontal. Psychol. Rev. 45, 300–323 (1938)Google Scholar
  15. Graybiel, A., Clark, B.: Perception of the horizontal or vertical with head upright, on the side, and inverted under static conditions, and during exposure to centripetal force. Aerospace Med. 33, 147–155 (1962)Google Scholar
  16. Guedry, F.E.: Psychophysics of vestibular sensation. In: Handbook of Sensory Physiol. VI/2 Berlin, Heidelberg, New York: Springer 1974Google Scholar
  17. v. Holst, E.: Die Arbeitsweise des Statolithenorganes bei Fischen. Z. vgl. Physiol. 32, 60–120 (1950)Google Scholar
  18. Howard, I.P., Templeton, W.B.: Human spatial orientation. New York: Wiley 1966Google Scholar
  19. Miller, E.F., Graybiel, A.: Role of the otolith organs in the perception of horizontality. Am. J. Psychol. 79, 24–37 (1966)Google Scholar
  20. Schöne, H.: Über den Einfluß der Schwerkraft auf die Augenrollung und auf die Wahrnehmung der Lage im Raum. Z. vgl. Physiol. 46, 57–87 (1962)Google Scholar
  21. Schöne, H.: On the role of gravity in human spatial orientation. Aerospace Med. 35, 746–772 (1964)Google Scholar
  22. Schöne, H.: The “weight” of gravity organ's signal in the control of perceptual and reflex type orientation at different body positions. Fortschr. d. Zool. 23, 1, 274–283 (1975)Google Scholar
  23. Schöne, H., Parker, D.E.: Inversion of the effect of increased gravity on the subjective vertical. Naturwiss. 54, 288–289 (1967)Google Scholar
  24. Schöne, H., Udo de Haes, H.: Perception of the gravity vertical as a function of head and trunk position. Z. vgl. Physiol. 60, 440–444 (1968)Google Scholar
  25. Schöne, H., Udo de Haes, H.: Space orientation in humans with special reference to the interaction of vestibular, somaesthetic and visual inputs. Biokybernetik III, Materialien 2. Internat. Sympos. Biokybernetik, pp. 172–191. Jena: VEB Fischer 1971Google Scholar
  26. Schöne, H., Wade, N.: The influence of force magnitude on the perception of body position. II. Effect of body posture. Br. J. Psychol. 62, 3, 347–352 (1971)Google Scholar
  27. Sherrington, C.S.: The integrative action of the nervous system. Cambridge: University Press 1906Google Scholar
  28. Udo de Haes, H.: Stability of the apparent vertical and ocular countertorsion as a function of lateral tilt. Perception and Psychophysics 8, 3, 137–142 (1970 a)Google Scholar
  29. Udo de Haes, H.: The effectiveness of the statolith organs in human spatial orientation. Thesis, Leiden (1970 b)Google Scholar
  30. Wade, N.J.: Visual orientation during and after lateral head, body and trunk tilt. Perception and Psychophysics 3, 215–219 (1968)Google Scholar
  31. Wade, N.J.: The interaction of postural systems in visual orientation. Percept. Psychophys. 6, 309–310 (1969 d)Google Scholar
  32. Wade, N.J.: Effect of prolonged tilt on visual orientation. Quart. J. Exp. Psychol., Vol. XXII, 3, 425–439 (1970)Google Scholar
  33. Werner, H., Wapner, S., Chandler, K.: Experiments on sensoritonic field theory of perception. II. Effects of supported and unsupported tilt of the body on the visual perception of verticality. J. Exp. Psychol. 42, 346–350 (1951)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvia Lechner-Steinleitner
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für VerhaltensphysiologieSeewiesenFederal Republic of Germany

Personalised recommendations