Variability in stepping direction explains the veering behavior of blind walkers

Christopher S. Kallie, Paul R. Schrater, Gordon E. Legge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Walking without vision results in veering, an inability to maintain a straight path that has important consequences for blind pedestrians. In this study, the authors addressed whether the source of veering in the absence of visual and auditory feedback is better attributed to errors in perceptual encoding or undetected motor error. Three experiments had the following results: No significant differences in the shapes of veering trajectories were found between blind and blindfolded participants; accuracy in detecting curved walking paths was not correlated with simple measures of veering behavior; and explicit perceptual cues to initial walking direction did not reduce veering. The authors present a model that accounts for the major characteristics of participants' veering behavior by postulating 3 independent sources of undetected motor error: initial orientation, consistent biases in step direction, and, most important, variable error in individual steps.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-200
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2007

Bibliographical note

Copyright:
Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Blind mobility
  • Locomotion
  • Motor noise
  • Perceptual cues
  • Perceptual encoding errors
  • Undetected motor error
  • Veering
  • Walking

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