The Effect of Translational and Rotational Body-Based Information on Navigation



Physical locomotion provides internal (body-based) sensory information about the translational and rotational components of movement. This chapter starts by summarizing the characteristics of model-, small- and large-scale VE applications, and attributes of ecological validity that are important for the application of navigation research. The type of navigation participants performed, the scale and spatial extent of the environment, and the richness of the visual scene are used to provide a framework for a review of research into the effect of body-based information on navigation. The review resolves contradictions between previous studies’ findings, identifies types of navigation interface that are suited to different applications, and highlights areas in which further research is needed. Applications that take place in small-scale environments, where maneuvering is the most demanding aspect of navigation, will benefit from full-walking interfaces. However, collision detection may not be needed because users avoid obstacles even when they are below eye-level. Applications that involve large-scale spaces (e.g., buildings or cities) just need to provide the translational component of body-based information, because it is only in unusual scenarios that the rotational component of body-based information produces any significant benefit. This opens up the opportunity of combining linear treadmill and walking-in-place interfaces with projection displays that provide a wide field of view.


Translational Rotational Body-based information Navigation Cognition Spatial knowledge 



This research was supported by the award of an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for Experienced Researchers to RAR, the University of Leeds, and the Max Planck Society.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Leeds, School of ComputingLeedsUK
  2. 2.Max Planck Institute for Biological CyberneticsTübingenGermany

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