Vestibulo-tactile interactions regarding motion perception and eye movements in yaw

Jelte E. Bos*, Jan B F Van Erp, Eric L. Groen, Hendrik Jan Van Veen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper shows that tactile stimulation can override vestibular information regarding spinning sensations and eye movements. However, we conclude that the current data do not support the hypothesis that tactile stimulation controls eye movements directly. To this end, twenty-four subjects were passively disoriented by an abrupt stop after an increase in yaw velocity, about an Earth vertical axis, up to 120°/s. Immediately thereafter, they had to actively maintain a stationary position despite a disturbance signal. Subjects wore a tactile display vest with 48 miniature vibrators, applied in different combinations with visual and vestibular stimuli. Their performance was quantified by RMS body velocity during self-control. Fast eye movement phases were analyzed by counting samples exceeding a velocity limit, slow phases by a novel method applying a first order model. Without tactile and visual information, subjects returned to a previous level of angular motion. Tactile stimulation decreased RMS self velocity considerably, though less than vision. No differences were observed between conditions in which the vest was active during the recovery phase only or during the disorienting phase as well. All effects of tactile stimulation found on the eye movement parameters could be explained by the vestibular stimulus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-160
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Vestibular Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • Angular yaw motion
  • Human
  • Motion perception
  • Motion sickness
  • Saccades
  • Slow phase eye velocity
  • Spatial orientation
  • Tactile display
  • Velocity storage
  • VOR


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