Visual control of locomotion


2 Department of Psychology University of Edinburgh Edinburgh Scotland


Abstract.— How is locomotion controlled? What information is necessary and how is it used? It is first of all argued that the classical twofold division of information into ex-teroceptive and proprioceptive is inadequate and confusing, that three fundamental types of information need to be distinguished and that the information is used in a continual process of formulating locomotor programs, monitoring their execution and adjusting them. The paper goes on to show (1) how steering could be controlled on the basis of the “locomotor flow line” in the optic array, which specifies the potential future course, whether curved or straight, and (2) how stopping for an obstacle could be controlled simply on the basis of the information in the optic array about the time-to-collision and its rate of change. The problems inherent in pedestrian locomotion of controlling footing and balance are discussed and an investigation of visual locomotor programming in the long jump reported.