How People Use Visual Landmarks for Locomotion Distance Estimation: The Case Study of Eye Tracking

  • Huiting Zhang
  • Kan Zhang
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 213)


Research has been focusing on how people navigate in the virtual space since the technology of virtual reality was developed. However, not enough has been known about the process of the virtual space cognition. During locomotion, distance could be visually accessed by integrating motion cues, such as optic flow, or by the self-displacement process in which people compare the change of their self-position relative to individual identifiable objects (i.e. landmarks) in the environment along the movement. In this study, we attempted to demonstrate the effect of the later mechanism by separating the static visual scenes from the motion cues in a simulated self-movement using a static-frame paradigm. In addition, we compared the eye tracking pattern in the static scene condition (without motion cues) with the eye tracking pattern in the full visual cue condition (with motion cues). The results suggested that when only static visual scenes were available during the simulated self-movement, people were able to reproduce the traveled distance. The eye tracking results also revealed there were two different perceptual processes for locomotion distance estimation and it was suggested that locomotion distance could be estimated not only by optic flow as we already knew, but also by the self-displacement process from the visual static scenes.


Landmarks Locomotion distance estimation Eye tracking 



We would like to thank Dr. Frances Wang from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Dr. Wang Ying from Institute of Psychology, CAS for their instructions and constructive suggestions on our study. And we thank Dr. Yao Lin from Institute of Psychology, CAS for his help on data analysis. Special thanks are given to our participants for their patience and valuable time.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PsychologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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