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    Getting ready for Mars: how the brain perceives new simulated gravitational environments

    Torok, A. and Gallagher, M. and Lasbareilles, C. and Ferrè, Elisa Raffaella (2019) Getting ready for Mars: how the brain perceives new simulated gravitational environments. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 72 (9), pp. 2342-2349. ISSN 1747-0218.

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    On Earth, we are continually exposed to gravity: sensory signals are constantly integrated to form an internal model of gravity. However, it is unclear whether this internal model is fixed to Earth’s gravity or whether it can be applied to a new gravitational environment. Under terrestrial gravity, observers show a “gravitational bias” while judging the speed of falling versus rising objects, as they comply with the physical laws of gravity. We investigated whether this gravitational bias may be present when judging the speed of objects moving upwards or downwards in both virtual reality (VR)-simulated Earth gravity (9.81 m/s2) and Mars gravity (3.71 m/s2). Our results highlighted a gravitational bias in both Earth and Mars VR-simulated gravity: the speed of downwards movement was more precisely detected than the speed of upwards movement. Although the internal model of gravity has been built up under terrestrial gravity, it can quickly expand to novel non-terrestrial gravitational environments.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Vestibular system, motion perception, gravity, Mars, Earth
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Elisa Raffaella Ferre
    Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2021 09:59
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:12


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