Publication Details

Palmisano, S., Allison, R. S., Schira, M. M. & Barry, R. J. (2015). Future challenges for vection research: definitions, functional significance, measures, and neural bases. Frontiers in Psychology, 6 (193), 1-15.


This paper discusses four major challenges facing modern vection research. Challenge 1 (Defining Vection) outlines the different ways that vection has been defined in the literature and discusses their theoretical and experimental ramifications. The term vection is most often used to refer to visual illusions of self-motion induced in stationary observers (by moving, or simulating the motion of, the surrounding environment). However, vection is increasingly being used to also refer to non-visual illusions of self-motion, visually mediated self-motion perceptions, and even general subjective experiences (i.e., "feelings") of self-motion. The common thread in all of these definitions is the conscious subjective experience of self-motion. Thus, Challenge 2 (Significance of Vection) tackles the crucial issue of whether such conscious experiences actually serve functional roles during selfmotion (e.g., in terms of controlling or guiding the self-motion). After more than 100 years of vection research there has been surprisingly little investigation into its functional significance. Challenge 3 (Vection Measures) discusses the difficulties with existing subjective self-report measures of vection (particularly in the context of contemporary research), and proposes several more objective measures of vection based on recent empirical findings. Finally, Challenge 4 (Neural Basis) reviews the recent neuroimaging literature examining the neural basis of vection and discusses the hurdles still facing these investigations.



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