Perception & Psychophysics

, Volume 65, Issue 8, pp 1179–1187 | Cite as

Contribution of somesthetic cues to the perception of body orientation and subjective visual vertical

  • Marion Trousselard
  • Corinne Cian
  • Vincent Nougier
  • Simon Pla
  • Christian Raphel
Article
  • 362 Downloads

Abstract

Without relevant visual cues, the subjective visual vertical (SVV) is biased in roll-tilted subjects toward the body axis (Aubert or A-effect). This study focused on the role of the somatosensory system with respect to the SVV and on whether somesthetic cues act through the estimated body tilt. The body cast technology was used to obtain a diffuse tactile stimulation. An increased A-effect was expected because of a greater underestimation of the body position in the body cast. Sixteen subjects placed in a tilt chair were rolled sideways from 0° to 105°. They were asked to verbally indicate their subjective body position and then to adjust a luminous line to the vertical under strapped and body cast conditions. Results showed a greater A-effect (p<.001) but an overestimation of the body orientation (p<.01) in the body cast condition for the higher tilt values (beyond 60°). Since the otolith organs produced the same gravity response in both conditions, errors were due to a change in somesthetic cues. Visual and postural errors were not directly related (no correlation). However, the angular distance between the apparent body position and the SVV remained stable, suggesting that the change in somatosensory pattern inputs has a similar impact on the cognitive processes involved in assessing the perception of external space and the sense of self-position.

References

  1. Anastasopoulos, D., Bronstein, A., Haslwanter, T., Fetter, M., &Dichgans, J. (1999). The role of somatosensory input for the perception of verticality. In B. Cohen & B. J. M. Hess (Eds.),Otolith function in spatial orientation and movement (Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 871, pp. 379–383). New York: New York Academy of Sciences.Google Scholar
  2. Bauermeister, M. (1978). Differences between right versus left lateral body tilt in its effect on the visual and tactual perception.Psychological Research,40, 183–187.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bringoux, L., Nougier, V., Barraud, P.A., Marin, L., & Raphel, C. (in press). Contribution of somaesthetic information to the perception of body orientation in the pitch dimension.Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.Google Scholar
  4. Bronstein, A. M. (1999). The interaction of otolith and proprioceptive information in the perception of verticality: The effects of labyrinthine and CNS disease. In B. Cohen & B. J. M. Hess (Eds.),Otolith function in spatial orientation and movement (Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 871, pp. 324–333). New York: New York Academy of Sciences.Google Scholar
  5. Brown, J. L. (1961). Orientation to the vertical during water immersion.Aerospace Medicine,32, 209–217.Google Scholar
  6. Day, R. H., &Wade, N. J. (1969). Mechanisms involved in visual orientation constancy.Psychological Bulletin,71, 33–42.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dietz, V., Gollhofer, A., Kleiber, M., &Trippel, M. (1992). Regulation of bipedal stance: Dependence on “load” receptors.Experimental Brain Research,89, 229–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Higashiyama, A., &Koga, K. (1998). Apparent body tilt and postural aftereffect.Perception & Psychophysics,60, 331–347.Google Scholar
  9. Howard, I. P. (1986). The perception of posture, self motion, and the visual vertical. In K. R. Boff, L. Kaufmann, & J. P. Thomas (Eds.),Handbook of perception and human performance (Vol. 1, 18-1 to 18-62). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  10. Howard, I. P., &Templeton, W. B. (1966).Human spatial orientation. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  11. Ito, Y., &Gresty, M. A. (1997). Subjective postural orientation and visual vertical during slow pitch tilt for the seated human subject.Aviation, Space, & Environmental Medicine,68, 3–12.Google Scholar
  12. Jarchow, T., &Mast, F. W. (1999). The effect of water immersion on postural and visual orientation.Aviation, Space, & Environmental Medicine,70, 879–886.Google Scholar
  13. Lechner-Steinleitner, S., &Schöne, H. (1980). The subjective vertical under “dry” and “wet” conditions at clockwise and counterclockwise changed positions and the effect of a parallel background field.Psychological Research,41, 305–317.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Mast, F. W., &Jarchow, T. (1996). Perceived body position and the visual horizontal.Brain Research Bulletin,40, 393–397.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mittelstaedt, H. (1983). A new solution to the problem of the subjective vertical.Naturwissenschaften,70, 272–281.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mittelstaedt, H. (1992). Somatic versus vestibular gravity reception in man. In B. Cohen, D. L. Tomko, & F. E. Guedry (Eds.),Sensing and controlling motion, vestibular and sensorimotor function (Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 656, pp. 124–139). New York: New York Academy of Sciences.Google Scholar
  17. Mittelstaedt, H. (1997). Interaction of eye-, head-, and trunk-bound information in spatial perception and control.Journal of Vestibular Research,7, 283–302.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Nelson, J. G. (1968). Effect of water immersion and body position upon position of gravitational vertical.Aerospace Medicine,39, 806–811.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Nemire, K., &Cohen, M. M. (1993). Visual and somesthetic influences on postural orientation in the median plane.Perception & Psychophysics,53, 106–116.Google Scholar
  20. Nyborg, H. (1971). Tactile stimulation and perception of the vertical: I. Effect of diffuse vs. specif ic tactile stimulation.Scandinavian Journal of Psychology,12, 1–13.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Parker, D. E., Poston, R. L., &Gulledge, W. L. (1983). Spatial orientation: Visual-vestibular-somatic interaction.Perception & Psychophysics,33, 139–146.Google Scholar
  22. Pearson, R. G., &Hauty, G. T. (1959). Adaptive processes determining proprioceptive perception of verticality.Journal of Experimental Psychology,57, 367–371.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Raphan, T., &Sturm, D. (1992). Modeling the spatiotemporal organization of velocity storage in the vestibuloocular reflex by optokinetic studies.Journal of Neurophysiology,66, 1410–1421.Google Scholar
  24. Sandström, C. I. (1954). A note on the Aubert phenomenon.Journal of Experimental Psychology,48, 209–210.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Schöne, H. (1964). On the role of gravity in human spatial orientation.Aerospace Medicine,35, 764–772.Google Scholar
  26. Schöne, H. (1975). The “weight” of the gravity organ’s signal in the control of perceptual and reflex type orientation at different body positions.Fortschritte der Zoologie,23, 274–285.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Schöne, H., &Wade, N. J. (1971). The influence of force magnitude on the perception of body position.British Journal of Psychology,62, 347–352.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Teasdale, N., Nougier, V., Barraud, P. A., Bourdin, C., Debû, B., Poquin, D., &Raphel, C. (1999). Contribution of ankle, knee, and hip joints to the perception threshold for support surface rotation.Perception & Psychophysics,61, 615–624.Google Scholar
  29. Udo de Haes, H. A. (1970). Stability of apparent vertical and ocular countertorsion as a function of lateral tilt.Perception & Psychophysics,8, 137–142.Google Scholar
  30. Van Beuzekom, A. D., Medendorp, W. P., &Van Gisbergen, J. A. M. (2001). The subjective vertical and the sense of self orientation during active body tilt.Vision Research,41, 3229–3242.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Van Beuzekom, A. D., &Van Gisbergen, J. A. M. (2000). Properties of the internal representation of gravity inferred from spatial-direction and body-tilt estimates.Journal of Neurophysiology,84, 11–27.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. von Holst, E. (1950). Die Arbeitsweise des Statolithenapparates bei Fischen.Zeitschrift für vergleichende Physiologie,32, 60–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Wade, N. J. (1972). Effect of forward head inclination on visual orientation during lateral body tilt.Journal of Experimental Psychology,96, 203–205.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wade, N. J. (1973). The effect of water immersion on the perception of the visual vertical.British Journal of Psychology,64, 351–361.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Witkin, H. A., &Asch, S. E. (1948). Studies in space orientation: III. Perception of the upright in the absence of a visual field.Journal of Experimental Psychology,38, 603–614.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Yardley, L. (1990). Contribution of somatosensory information to perception of the visual vertical with body tilt and rotating visual field.Perception & Psychophysics,48, 131–134.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marion Trousselard
    • 1
  • Corinne Cian
    • 1
  • Vincent Nougier
    • 2
  • Simon Pla
    • 1
  • Christian Raphel
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre de Recherches du Service de Santé des ArméesLa Tronche, CedexFrance
  2. 2.Université Joseph FourierGrenobleFrance

Personalised recommendations