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Voluntary head movement and allocentric perception of space

Although visual input is egocentric, at least some visual perceptions and representations are allocentric, that is, independent of the observer's vantage point or motion. Three experiments investigated the visual perception of three-dimensional object motion during voluntary and involuntary motion in human subjects. The results show that the motor command contributes to the objective perception of space: Observers are more likely to apply, consciously and unconsciously, spatial criteria relative to an allocentric frame of reference when they are executing voluntary head movements than while they are undergoing similar involuntary displacements (which lead to a more egocentric bias). Furthermore, details of the motor command are crucial to spatial vision, as allocentric bias decreases or disappears when self-motion and motor command do not match.



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