Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Optic flow and scene structure do not always contribute to the control of human walking

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Julie Harris


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


Using displacing prisms to dissociate the influence of optic flow and egocentric direction, previous research (Current Biology 8 (1998) 1191) showed that people primarily use egocentric direction to control their locomotion on foot, rather than optic flow. When wearing displacing prisms, participants followed the curved path predicted by the use of simple egocentric direction, rather than a straight path, as predicted by the use of optic flow. It has previously been suggested that, in rich visual environments, other visual information including optic flow and static scene structure may influence locomotion in addition to direction. Here we report a study where neither scene structure nor optic flow have any influence on the control of walking. Participants wearing displacing prisms walked along a well-lit corridor (containing rich scene structure and flow) and along the same corridor in darkness (no scene structure or flow). Heading errors were not significantly different between the dark and light conditions. Thus, even under conditions of rich scene structure and high flow when walking in a well-lit corridor, participants follow the same curved paths as when these cues are not available. These results demonstrate that there are conditions under which visual direction is the only useful source of visual information for the control of locomotion. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Harris JM; Bonas W

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Vision Research

Year: 2002

Volume: 42

Issue: 13

Pages: 1619-1626

ISSN (print): 0042-6989

ISSN (electronic): 1878-5646

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/S0042-6989(02)00066-4


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric