Habituation of self-motion perception following unidirectional angular velocity steps

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Abstract

We investigated whether the perceived angular velocity following velocity steps of 80°/s in the dark decreased with the repetition of the stimulation in the same direction. The perceptual response to velocity steps in the opposite direction was also compared before and after this unidirectional habituation training. Participants indicated their perceived angular velocity by clicking on a wireless mouse every time they felt that they had rotated by 90°. The prehabituation perceptual response decayed exponentially with a time constant of 23.9 s. After 100 velocity steps in the same direction, this time constant was 12.9 s. The time constant after velocity steps in the opposite direction was 13.4 s, indicating that the habituation of the sensation of rotation is not direction specific. The peak velocity of the perceptual response was not affected by the habituation training. The differences between the habituation characteristics of self-motion perception and eye movements confirm that different velocity storage mechanisms mediate ocular and perceptual responses.

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