Palmisano et al (2000 Perception 29 57-67) found that adding coherent perspective jitter to constant-velocity radial flow improved visually induced illusions of self-motion (vection). This was a surprising finding, because unlike pure radial flow, this jittering radial flow should have generated sustained visual - vestibular conflicts - previously thought to always reduce/impair vection. We attempted to ascertain the essential stimulus features for this jitter advantage for vection by examining three novel types of jitter display. While adding incoherent jitter to radial flow was found to impair vection, adding coherent non-perspective jitter had little effect on this subjective experience (contrary to the notion that jitter improves vection by reducing adaptation to radial flow). Importantly, we found that coherent perspective jitter not only improves the vection induced by radial flow, but it also appears to induce modest vection by itself (demonstrating that vection can still occur when there is an extreme mismatch between actual and expected vestibular activity). These results suggest that the previously demonstrated advantage for coherent perspective jitter was due (in part at least) to jittering vection combining with forwards vection in depth to produce a more compelling overall vection experience.
Bibliographical noteErratum can be found in Perception, 32, p. 1028, 2003.