Successful obstacle avoidance requires a close coordination of the visual and the motor systems. Visual information is essential for adjusting movements in order to avoid unwanted collisions. Yet, established obstacle avoidance paradigms have typically either focused on gaze strategies or on motor adjustments. Here we were interested in whether humans show similar visuomotor sensitivity to obstacles when gaze and motor behaviour are measured across different obstacle avoidance tasks. To this end, we measured participants’ hand movement paths when grasping targets in the presence of obstacles as well as their gaze behaviour when walking through a cluttered hallway. We found that participants who showed more pronounced motor adjustments during grasping also spent more time looking at obstacles during locomotion. Furthermore, movement durations correlated positively in both tasks. Results suggest considerable intra-individual consistency in the strength of the avoidance response across different visuomotor measures potentially indicating an individual’s tendency to perform safe actions.
Bibliographical noteThe author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Jutta Billino was supported by grants from the German Research Foundation, Collaborative Research Centre SFB/TRR 135: Cardinal Mechanisms of Perception.
- mobile eye tracking
- inter-individual differences