Postural configuration affects the perception of earth-based space during pitch tilt

  • Bourrelly Aurore
  • Vercher J. -L.
  • Bringoux L.

  • Egocentric
  • Geocentric
  • Postural orientation
  • Reference frame
  • Spatial perception


This study investigates the relative contribution of body parts in the elaboration of a whole-body egocentric attraction phenomenon previously observed during earth-based judgments. This was addressed through a particular earth-based task requiring estimating the possibility of passing under a projected line, imagining a forward horizontal displacement. Different postural configurations were tested, involving whole-body tilt. trunk tilt alone or head tilt alone. Two legs positions relative to the trunk were manipulated. Results showed systematic deviations of the subjective ``passability'' toward the tilt, linearly related to the tilt magnitude. For each postural configuration, the egocentric influence appeared to be highly dependent on the position of trunk and head axes, whereas the legs position appeared not relevant. When compared to the whole-body tilt condition, tilting the trunk alone consistently reduced the amount of the deviation toward the tilt, whereas tilting the head alone consistently increased it. Our results suggest that several specific effects from multiple body parts can account for the global deviation of the estimates observed during whole-body tilt. Most importantly, we support that the relative contribution of the body segments could mainly depend on a reweighting process, probably based on the reliability of sensory information available for a particular postural set. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.