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PNB Colloquium - Michael Cinelli - Perceptual judgments and actions for avoiding static and moving obstacles in real-world and VR



Dr. Michael Eric Cinelli
Associate Professor
Wilfrid Laurier University

Perceptual judgments and actions for avoiding static and moving obstacles in real-world and VR

Navigating safely through a cluttered environment requires avoiding static and moving obstacles and, more specifically, other pedestrians. Fortunately, collisions between pedestrians or other objects rarely occur. This is due to a key role that vision plays in safely and efficiently guiding our routes away from collisions and towards open spaces. Visual information about an environment is gathered through eye movements allowing individuals to act appropriately (i.e., change speed, direction, or foot placement) in response to obstacles. In this way vision helps pedestrians to select pathways that will guide them towards openings and away from structures that would cause injury. However, the manner in which specific optical variables (from vision) are used to control actions and safely avoid collisions with environmental objects are unknown. Fundamentally there are differences between stationary and moving objects as well as between human and non-human obstacles. Therefore, it is critical to understand how actions differ when avoiding another person compared to a non-human object (stationary or moving). My research program is focused on developing systematic rules that govern an individual’s actions when interacting with other individuals and objects in different environments. My talk will focus on some of the studies that I have conducted over the past 6 years that have led me along this research program.

Host: Hongjin Sun

Contact Department

Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour (PNB)
Psychology Building (PC), Room 102
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton Ontario L8S 4K1