How to use body tilt for the simulation of linear self motion

J Vestib Res. 2004;14(5):375-85.


We examined to what extent body tilt may augment the perception of visually simulated linear self acceleration. Fourteen subjects judged visual motion profiles of fore-aft motion at four different frequencies between 0.04-0.33 Hz, and at three different acceleration amplitudes (0.44, 0.88 and 1.76 m/s(2)). Simultaneously, subjects were tilted backward and forward about their pitch axis. The amplitude of pitch tilt was systematically varied. Using a two-alternative-forced-choice paradigm, psychometric curves were calculated in order to determine: 1) the minimum tilt amplitude required to generate a linear self-motion percept in more than 50% of the cases, and 2) the maximum tilt amplitude at which rotation remains sub-threshold in more than 50% of the cases. The results showed that the simulation of linear self motion became more realistic with the application of whole body tilt, as long as the tilt rate remained under the detection threshold of about 3 deg/s. This value is in close agreement with the empirical rate limit commonly used in flight simulation. The minimum required motion cue was inversely proportional to stimulus frequency, and increased with the amplitude of the visual displacement (rather than acceleration). As a consequence, the range of useful tilt stimuli became more critical with increasing stimulus frequency. We conclude that this psychophysical approach reveals valid parameters for motion driving algorithms used in motion base simulators.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration*
  • Adult
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Cues
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Motion Perception*
  • Motion*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Psychometrics / instrumentation
  • Psychometrics / methods
  • Rotation