Adding simulated viewpoint jitter or oscillation to displays enhances visually induced illusions of self-motion (vection). The cause of this enhancement is yet to be fully understood. Here, we conducted psychophysical experiments to investigate the effects of different types of simulated oscillation on vertical vection. Observers viewed horizontally oscillating and nonoscillating optic flow fields simulating downward self-motion through an aperture. The aperture was visually simulated to be nearer to the observer and was stationary or oscillating in-phase or counter-phase to the direction of background horizontal oscillations of optic flow. Results showed that vection strength was modulated by the oscillation of the aperture relative to the background optic flow. Vertical vection strength increased as the relative oscillatory horizontal motion between the flow and the aperture increased. However, such increases in vection were only generated when the added oscillations were orthogonal to the principal direction of the optic flow pattern, and not when they occurred in the same direction. The oscillation effects observed in this investigation could not be explained by motion adaptation or different (motion parallax based) effects on depth perception. Instead, these results suggest that the oscillation advantage for vection depends on relative visual motion.
Nakamura, S., Palmisano, S. & Kim, J. (2016). Relative visual oscillation can facilitate visually induced self-motion perception. i-Perception, 7 (4), 1-18.