Effects of external feedback about body tilt: Influence on the Subjective Proprioceptive Horizon.

  • Bringoux Lionel
  • Bourdin Christophe
  • Nougier Vincent
  • Raphel Christian

  • Proprioception
  • Subjective horizon
  • Body tilt


The present study investigated a cognitive aspect upon spatial perception, namely the impact of a true or false verbal feedback (FB) about the magnitude of body tilt on Subjective Proprioceptive Horizon (SPH) estimates. Subjects were asked to set their extended arm normal to gravity for different pitch body tilts up to 9 degrees . True FB were provided at all body tilt angles, whereas false FB were provided only at 6 degrees backward and 6 degrees forward body tilts for half of the trials. Our data confirmed previous results about the egocentric influence of body tilt itself upon SPH: estimates were linearly lowered with forward tilts and elevated with backward tilts. In addition, results showed a significant effect of the nature of the external FB provided to the subjects. When subjects received a false FB inducing a 3 degrees forward bias relative to physical body tilt, they set their SPH consequently higher than when they received a false FB inducing a 3 degrees backward bias. These findings clearly indicated that false cognitive information about body tilt might significantly modify the judgement of a geocentric direction of space, such as the SPH. This may have deleterious repercussions in aeronautics when pilots have to localize external objects relative to earth-based directions in darkened environments.