Visuo-Vestibular and Cardiovascular Contributions to Vertical Ego-motion Representation

I Giannopulu

Research output: Contribution to conferencePresentationResearch

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Vertical ego-motion, i.e., elevator movement, is an embodied representation of movement in space. It can occur in naturalistic situation when, for example, we take a glass walled elevator to move upward or downward. Though a rapid waterfall is seeable, we can have the feeling that our body is moving in the opposite direction. This ego-motion representation is a complex phenomenon which necessitates multimodal visuo-vestibular and cardiovascular interactions at least. It is considered as an archetypal form of virtual reality. The purpose of the study is to analyse visuo-vestibular and cardiovascular interactions of vertical ego-motion by investigating the latency for reporting upward and downward ego-motion as well as the variation of autonomic heart rate in healthy adults. Under the hypothesis that the intensity of the visuovestibular interaction would influence upward and downward ego-motion latency and cardiovascular activity, thirty-five healthy adults aged 22 years have been immersed to an optokinetic environment using a Head Mounted Display (HMD). During upward and downward ego-motion, the engagement of vestibular saccular structures seems differently contribute to latency and cardiovascular activation depending on the direction of gravitational acceleration. Downward ego-motion latency is shorter than upward ego-motion latency; cardiovascular autonomic activation is lower for downward ego-motion than for upward egomotion. These results provide evidence that a top-down organisation associated with multimodal visuovestibular and cardiovascular interactions would afford a neuromorphic basis to apprehend body representation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2017
EventScience of the Self: The Agency and Body Representation Research Forum - Coogee Beach, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 20 Nov 201722 Nov 2017


ConferenceScience of the Self

Agency and body representation are growing areas of interest in cognitive science. As a field we are trying to answer important questions about how we perceive our own bodies and represent our ability to causally manipulate the world. This research touches on a wide range of topics including action planning, sensory prediction, multisensory perception, time perception, expertise, and the social contexts of actions. This work contributes to our theoretical understanding of the mechanisms that underlie self-representations, and highlights new possibilities for identification and remediation of disturbances to the sense of self often found in clinical disorders. Agency and body representation research also has important practical implications for informing technologies such as human-computer interfaces and virtual reality.

Research in this area is diverse, and agency and body representation are often studied relatively separately. Despite broad relevance for a number of research areas in the cognitive sciences, there have been relatively few opportunities for a focused gathering of agency and body representation scientists. Science of the Self will provide a forum for international researchers across a range of disciplines to come together to discuss the latest research findings on both agency and body representation. In addition to sharing recent discoveries, a focus of this workshop will be collaborative exploration of cutting edge methods and models for research in this area.

The workshop will include:

- Keynote presentations from well-regarded international researchers that provide insights into key theoretical and empirical issues in the field.- Talks and poster presentations on recent discoveries, models and new methods.- Collaborative sessions and panels on methodologies and techniques such as neuroimaging, behavioural paradigms, explicit and implicit measures, and experiment design.- Facilitated opportunities to gather in small groups to explore potential new collaborations.- An idyllic beachside setting with opportunities for socialising and relaxing.- Reduced rates for students and unfunded researchers.
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