Visual-motor recalibration in geographical slant perception

J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 1999 Aug;25(4):1076-96. doi: 10.1037//0096-1523.25.4.1076.


In 4 experiments, it was shown that hills appear steeper to people who are encumbered by wearing a heavy backpack (Experiment 1), are fatigued (Experiment 2), are of low physical fitness (Experiment 3), or are elderly and/or in declining health (Experiment 4). Visually guided actions are unaffected by these manipulations of physiological potential. Although dissociable, the awareness and action systems were also shown to be interconnected. Recalibration of the transformation relating awareness and actions was found to occur over long-term changes in physiological potential (fitness level, age, and health) but not with transitory changes (fatigue and load). Findings are discussed in terms of a time-dependent coordination between the separate systems that control explicit visual awareness and visually guided action.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Awareness / physiology*
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Geography*
  • Humans
  • Judgment / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Photic Stimulation / instrumentation
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*