Thursday, April 16, 2009

Veering re-visited: Noise and posture cues in walking without sight

I thought that the information about auditory stim and veering was interesting and something to keep in mind when we do a final design on the spoken/sounds feedback system.

Millar, S. (1999). Veering re-visited: Noise and posture cues in walking without sight. Perception, 28(6), 765-780.

Millar S.
Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, UK.
Effects of sound and posture cues on veering from the straight-ahead were tested with young blind children in an unfamiliar space that lacked orienting cues. In a pre-test with a previously heard target sound, all subjects walked straight to the target. A recording device, which sampled the locomotor trajectories automatically, showed that, without prior cues from target locations, subjects tended to veer more to the side from which they heard a brief, irrelevant noise. Carrying a load on one side produced more veering to the opposite side. The detailed samples showed that, underlying the main trajectories, were alternating concave and convex (left and right) movements, suggesting stepwise changes in body position. It is argued that the same external and body-centred cues that contribute to reference-frame orientation for locomotion when they converge and concur, influence the direction of veering when the cues occur in isolation in environments that lack converging reference information.

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