Optical Flow and Texture Variables Useful in Simulating Self Motion (II).
Final technical rept. 1 Feb 82-31 Mar 83,
OHIO STATE UNIV RESEARCH FOUNDATION COLUMBUS
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This report outlines a program of research applying ecological optics to the study of visual information useful for detecting and guiding self motion during flight. Techniques are presented for isolating optical sources of information by controlling simulated flight path and speed variables in conjunction with ground surface texture variables. Problems encountered in the design of experiments using higher-order ratios exhibiting constrained linkages are discussed, and several solutions are suggested. A case is made for the necessity of considering the entire perception-control action cycle in the study of self-motion sensitivity, and implications of ecological optics experiments for the understanding of smart information-specifying visual system mechanisms are discussed. Three experiments are presented testing the usefulness of optical variables and invariants for detecting changes in speed and altitude. Our findings to date provide a basis for the development of tests to evaluate candidates for flight training, the simulators with which pilots are trained, and improvement in sensitivity with training. In addition, our approach provides a sound empirical foundation from which to begin interactive experiments in which pilots control, rather than simply react to, the variables and invariants of optical stimulation.
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