Vestibular and active self-motion signals drive visual perception in binocular rivalry

David Alais, Robert Keys, Frans Verstraten, Chris Paffen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Multisensory integration helps the brain build reliable models of the world and resolve ambiguities. Visual interactions with sound and touch are well established but vestibular influences on vision are less well studied. Here, we test the vestib- ular influence on vision using horizontally opposed motions presented one to each eye so that visual perception is unstable and alternates irregularly. Passive, whole-body rotations in the yaw plane stabilized visual alternations, with perceived direction oscillating congruently with rotation (leftward motion during leftward rotation, and vice versa). This demonstrates a purely vestibular signal can resolve ambiguous visual motion and determine visual perception. Active self-rotation following the same sinusoidal profile also entrained vision to the rotation cycle – more strongly and with a lesser time lag, likely because of effer- ence copy and predictive internal models. Both experiments show that visual am- biguity provides an effective paradigm to reveal how vestibular and motor inputs can shape visual perception.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2021


  • Biological sciences
  • Neuroscience
  • Sensory neuroscience


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