Humans Use Predictive Gaze Strategies to Target Waypoints for Steering

Samuel Tuhkanen, Jami Pekkanen, Paavo Juhani Rinkkala, Callum Mole, Richard M. Wilkie, Otto Lappi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

A major unresolved question in understanding visually guided locomotion in humans is whether actions are driven solely by the immediately available optical information (model-free online control mechanisms), or whether internal models have a role in anticipating the future path. We designed two experiments to investigate this issue, measuring spontaneous gaze behaviour while steering, and predictive gaze behaviour when future path information was withheld. In Experiment 1 participants (N = 15) steered along a winding path with rich optic flow: gaze patterns were consistent with tracking waypoints on the future path 1–3 s ahead. In Experiment 2, participants (N = 12) followed a path presented only in the form of visual waypoints located on an otherwise featureless ground plane. New waypoints appeared periodically every 0.75 s and predictably 2 s ahead, except in 25% of the cases the waypoint at the expected location was not displayed. In these cases, there were always other visible waypoints for the participant to fixate, yet participants continued to make saccades to the empty, but predictable, waypoint locations (in line with internal models of the future path guiding gaze fixations). This would not be expected based upon existing model-free online steering control models, and strongly points to a need for models of steering control to include mechanisms for predictive gaze control that support anticipatory path following behaviours.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8344
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
ISSN2045-2322
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 6162 Cognitive science

Cite this

Tuhkanen, Samuel ; Pekkanen, Jami ; Rinkkala, Paavo Juhani ; Mole, Callum ; Wilkie, Richard M. ; Lappi, Otto. / Humans Use Predictive Gaze Strategies to Target Waypoints for Steering. In: Scientific Reports. 2019 ; Vol. 9. pp. 1-18.
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abstract = "A major unresolved question in understanding visually guided locomotion in humans is whether actions are driven solely by the immediately available optical information (model-free online control mechanisms), or whether internal models have a role in anticipating the future path. We designed two experiments to investigate this issue, measuring spontaneous gaze behaviour while steering, and predictive gaze behaviour when future path information was withheld. In Experiment 1 participants (N = 15) steered along a winding path with rich optic flow: gaze patterns were consistent with tracking waypoints on the future path 1–3 s ahead. In Experiment 2, participants (N = 12) followed a path presented only in the form of visual waypoints located on an otherwise featureless ground plane. New waypoints appeared periodically every 0.75 s and predictably 2 s ahead, except in 25{\%} of the cases the waypoint at the expected location was not displayed. In these cases, there were always other visible waypoints for the participant to fixate, yet participants continued to make saccades to the empty, but predictable, waypoint locations (in line with internal models of the future path guiding gaze fixations). This would not be expected based upon existing model-free online steering control models, and strongly points to a need for models of steering control to include mechanisms for predictive gaze control that support anticipatory path following behaviours.",
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Humans Use Predictive Gaze Strategies to Target Waypoints for Steering. / Tuhkanen, Samuel; Pekkanen, Jami; Rinkkala, Paavo Juhani; Mole, Callum; Wilkie, Richard M.; Lappi, Otto.

In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 9, 8344, 06.06.2019, p. 1-18.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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