Biases in the Visual and Haptic Subjective Vertical Reveal the Role of Proprioceptive/Vestibular Priors in Child Development.


:Investigation of the perception of verticality permits to disclose the perceptual mechanisms that underlie balance control and spatial navigation. Estimation of verticality in unusual body orientation with respect to gravity (e.g., laterally tilted in the roll plane) leads to biases that change depending on the encoding sensory modality and the amount of tilt. A well-known phenomenon is the A-effect, that is a bias toward the body tilt often interpreted in a Bayesian framework to be the byproduct of a prior peaked at the most common head and body orientation, i.e., upright. In this study, we took advantage of this phenomenon to study the interaction of visual, haptic sensory information with vestibular/proprioceptive priors across development. We tested children (5-13 y.o) and adults (>22 y.o.) in an orientation discrimination task laterally tilted 90° to their left-ear side. Experimental conditions differed for the tested sensory modality: visual-only, haptic-only, both modalities. Resulting accuracy depended on the developmental stage and the encoding sensory modality, showing A-effects in vision across all ages and in the haptic modality only for the youngest children whereas bimodal judgments show lack of multisensory integration in children. A Bayesian prior model nicely predicts the behavioral data when the peak of the prior distribution shifts across age groups. Our results suggest that vision is pivotal to acquire an idiotropic vector useful for improving precision when upright. The acquisition of such a prior might be related to the development of head and trunk coordination, a process that is fundamental for gaining successful spatial navigation.


Front Neurol


Frontiers in neurology


Cuturi LF,Gori M




Has Abstract


2019-01-07 00:00:00








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