Oculomotor responses to body rotation were investigated in subjects standing with the eyes closed. A rotatable platform was used to provide body rotation relative to the space-stationary head or upper part of the body (fixation of the head; the head and the shoulders; and the head, the shoulders, and the pelvis). A slow rotation of the body about the longitudinal axis by ±6.5° within 10-150 s evoked an illusion of the upper part of the body turning in space, while the moving footplate was perceived as stationary in space. This illusion was accompanied by marked eye movements in the direction of the illusory rotation. In subjects grasping a rigid ground-based handle, the perception of body movements corresponded to the actual rotation of body parts. In this case, the amplitude of eye movements was substantially lower. It was concluded that the eye movement pattern depends not only on the actual relative movement of the body segments but also on the perception of this movement relative to the extrapersonal space.
ASJC Scopus subject areas