The long-term objective of the project is to determine how visual information is used to control human locomotion in a complex, changing Environment: What information is used to perceive properties such as one's direction of heading, collisions with stationary and moving objects, and how is this information used for posture and gait. The proposed research will investigate interactions between multiple control laws for balance, steering, and obstacle avoidance. In previous work it was found that the visual system accurately recovers heading form optic flow under a variety of conditions. It was also found that posture is adaptively regulated by optic flow during walking, and is closely integrated with gait.
The aim of the proposal is to dynamically model interactions for control strategies for balance, steering, and obstacle avoidance. Virtual reality techniques will be used to dissociate hypothesized strategies in treadmill walking and in joystick tasks. Five projects are proposed: 1. Interaction of the focus of expansion and visual direction strategies for steering. 2. Interaction of the focus of expansion and equalization strategies for steering. 3. Integration of goal seeking and obstacle avoidance. 4. Perception of heading and active steering. 5. Integration of posture, gait, and steering. The results will contribute to basic knowledge about visual control of locomotion and provide a foundation for clinical research on visual- motor deficits, gait disorders, and mobility problems in disease and aging.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Visual Sciences B Study Section (VISB)
Program Officer
Oberdorfer, Michael
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Brown University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Warren, William H (2018) Collective Motion in Human Crowds. Curr Dir Psychol Sci 27:232-240
Zhao, Huaiyong; Warren, William H (2017) Intercepting a moving target: On-line or model-based control? J Vis 17:12
Zhao, Huaiyong; Warren, William H (2015) On-line and model-based approaches to the visual control of action. Vision Res 110:190-202
Rhea, Christopher K; Kiefer, Adam W; Haran, F J et al. (2014) A new measure of the CoP trajectory in postural sway: dynamics of heading change. Med Eng Phys 36:1473-9
Rhea, Christopher K; Kiefer, Adam W; D'Andrea, Susan E et al. (2014) Entrainment to a real time fractal visual stimulus modulates fractal gait dynamics. Hum Mov Sci 36:20-34
Rio, Kevin W; Rhea, Christopher K; Warren, William H (2014) Follow the leader: visual control of speed in pedestrian following. J Vis 14:
Cinelli, Michael; Warren, William H (2012) Do walkers follow their heads? Investigating the role of head rotation in locomotor control. Exp Brain Res 219:175-90
Warren, William H (2012) Does this computational theory solve the right problem? Marr, Gibson, and the goal of vision. Perception 41:1053-60
Siegle, Joshua H; Warren, William H (2010) Distal attribution and distance perception in sensory substitution. Perception 39:208-23
Gerin-Lajoie, Martin; Ciombor, Deborah McK; Warren, William H et al. (2010) Using ambulatory virtual environments for the assessment of functional gait impairment: a proof-of-concept study. Gait Posture 31:533-6

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