Neural underpinning of postural responses to visual field motion

Semyon Slobounov, Tao Wu, Mark Hallett, Hiroshi Shibasaki, Elena Slobounov, Karl Newell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Numerous results emerging from current research strongly implicate the effect of Visual Field Motion on the organization of postural responses. However, this is the first empirical study exploring the neural substrates underlying the subjects' response to Visual Field Motion. Two separate experiments were conducted to investigate the subject responses to Visual Field Motion. In the first experiment, the standing subjects were exposed to Visual Field Motion in the VR environment. In the second experiment, the recumbent subjects viewed the same Visual Field Motion while in a MRI scanner. A virtual reality (VR) prototype of the moving room paradigm [Lee, D.N., Aronson, E., 1974. Visual proprioceptive control of standing in human infants. Perception & Psychophysics 15, 529-532] was developed to simulate various optic flow patterns in a controlled VR environment. Postural responses (center of pressure, body kinematics, vection, egomotion) and brain activation patterns (fMRI signals) were examined. The subjects experienced egomotion and have reported vection in both experiments only when certain attributes of Visual Field Motion were introduced. This was accompanied by significant activation of specific brain structures, including prefrontal, parietal cortices and bilateral cerebellum. We propose the existence of functional interactions between modality specific areas of the brain involved in postural responses to Visual Field Motion (VFM).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-197
Number of pages10
JournalBiological Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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