Pilot experiment for Twisted Gravity

I’ve just returned from pilot testing in the VeME lab directed by Elisa Ferré at Royal Holloway, University of London thanks to my EPS grant. We are studying how vestibular and visual informations interact in the perception of gravity. We focus the current experiment on the dynamic nature of gravity, namely the perception of moving objects.

Previously we have investigated the multisensory nature of visual distance perception and found that the same distance may be perceived longer when our head is tilted upwards and shorter when we look down to them. Now, we turned to an even more interesting topic, whether we perceive gravity consistent motion differently than the same motion in a not gravity dependent manner. To approach this we use virtual reality and galvanic vestibular stimulation (like this one). This way, participants will be able to see and feel different gravities while staying in the same posture.

The experiment we build upon is a very interesting one published a few years ago. It is a neat design to assess the psychophysics of this phenomenon. I really like these kinds of thoughtful paradigms, we too spent a good time on finding the right parameters to implement it in VR. It is amazing to see how human senses work and affect what we perceive of the world. I can’t wait to see it in action!