Contributions of visual and proprioceptive information to travelled distance estimation during changing sensory congruencies

Jennifer L. Campos, John S. Butler, Heinrich H. Bülthoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Recent research has provided evidence that visual and body-based cues (vestibular, proprioceptive and efference copy) are integrated using a weighted linear sum during walking and passive transport. However, little is known about the specific weighting of visual information when combined with proprioceptive inputs alone, in the absence of vestibular information about forward self-motion. Therefore, in this study, participants walked in place on a stationary treadmill while dynamic visual information was updated in real time via a head-mounted display. The task required participants to travel a predefined distance and subsequently match this distance by adjusting an egocentric, in-depth target using a game controller. Travelled distance information was provided either through visual cues alone, proprioceptive cues alone or both cues combined. In the combined cue condition, the relationship between the two cues was manipulated by either changing the visual gain across trials (0.7×, 1.0×, 1.4×; Exp. 1) or the proprioceptive gain across trials (0.7×, 1.0×, 1.4×; Exp. 2). Results demonstrated an overall higher weighting of proprioception over vision. These weights were scaled, however, as a function of which sensory input provided more stable information across trials. Specifically, when visual gain was constantly manipulated, proprioceptive weights were higher than when proprioceptive gain was constantly manipulated. These results therefore reveal interesting characteristics of cue-weighting within the context of unfolding spatio-temporal cue dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3277-3289
Number of pages13
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Sept 19

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments We thank Betty Mohler and Michael Weyel for their technical assistance and Simon Musall for his assistance in collecting the data. The research was supported by funding from the Max Planck Society and by the Brain Korea 21 PLUS Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


  • Cue conflict
  • Distance estimation
  • Multisensory integration
  • Optic flow
  • Proprioception
  • Self-motion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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