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Percept Psychophys. 1992 Jun;51(6):557-68.

Active regulation of altitude as a function of optical texture.

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Institute of Aviation, University of Illinois, Urbana.


Two empirical studies are reported that examine active regulation of altitude as a function of the type of ground texture. Three ground textures were examined: lines perpendicular to the direction of motion, lines parallel to the direction of motion, and the combination (i.e., square or checkerboard texture). Although subjects only controlled altitude, disturbances were introduced on three axes: vertical, lateral, and fore-aft. The results show a clear advantage for texture parallel to the direction of motion. However, in considering these results in the context of previous research on altitude control, the argument is made that there is no compelling evidence that suggests either parallel (splay) or perpendicular (density) texture is privileged with regard to altitude control. Rather, the most effective display for altitude control will be the one that best isolates the optical activity associated with changing altitude from the optical activity arising from other sources of disturbance (such as forward locomotion). Such a display will make it easier for the observer to distinguish and respond specifically to the disturbances of altitude.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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