Use of central and peripheral optical flow in stance and locomotion in young walkers.

T. A. Stoffregen, M. A. Schmuckler, E. J. Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Young walkers (up to 5 years of age) were presented with optical flow in a moving room. Flow was global or was restricted to either the center or the periphery of the visible optic array. On standing trials the response rate was greatest when peripheral flow was available. The availability of central flow had a smaller effect on standing, and the younger children showed greater response rates to frontal flow than did the older ones. There was a strong negative correlation between age and response rate for all conditions. Flow also affected stability during locomotion. Response rate was again related to the location of the available flow. It is concluded that children show the same relative sensitivity for flow in the periphery of the dynamic structure of the optic array as has been observed in adults, but that this differentiation of different areas of optical structure is not yet fully developed when children learn to stand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-119
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1987


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