VPEM Journal Club Meeting
Past Event Date:
Meeting room:Room 204 - Main Conference Room
Christopher Tyler will be presenting the following paper: Dokka et al., 2015, J. Neurosci. "Multisensory integration of visual and vestibular signals improves heading discrimination in the presence of a moving object."
Humans and animals are fairly accurate in judging their direction of self-motion (i.e., heading) from optic flow when moving through a stationary environment. However, an object moving independently in the world alters the optic flow field and may bias heading percep- tion if the visual system cannot dissociate object motion from self-motion. We investigated whether adding vestibular self-motion signals to optic flow enhances the accuracy of heading judgments in the presence of a moving object. Macaque monkeys were trained to report their heading (leftward or rightward relative to straight-forward) when self-motion was specified by vestibular, visual, or com- bined visual-vestibular signals, while viewing a display in which an object moved independently in the (virtual) world. The moving object induced significant biases in perceived heading when self-motion was signaled by either visual or vestibular cues alone. However, this bias was greatly reduced when visual and vestibular cues together signaled self-motion. In addition, multisensory heading discrimination thresholds measured in the presence of a moving object were largely consistent with the predictions of an optimal cue integration strategy. These findings demonstrate that multisensory cues facilitate the perceptual dissociation of self-motion and object motion, consistent with computational work that suggests that an appropriate decoding of multisensory visual-vestibular neurons can estimate heading while discounting the effects of object motion.