Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2012

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Plumert, Jodie M

First Committee Member

Plumert, Jodie

Second Committee Member

Kearney, Joseph

Third Committee Member

Spencer, John

Fourth Committee Member

Cook, Susan

Fifth Committee Member

Vecera, Shaun


We conducted eight experiments to examine how manipulating perception vs. action during walking affects perception-action recalibration in real and imagined blindfolded walking tasks. Participants first performed a distance estimation task (pretest), and then walked through an immersive virtual environment on a treadmill for 10 minutes. Participants then repeated the distance estimation task (posttest), the results of which were compared to their pretest performance. In Experiments 1a, 2a and 3a, participants walked at a normal speed during recalibration, but the rate of visual motion was either twice as fast or half as fast as the participants' walking speed. In Experiments 1b and 2b we tested 12-year-old children in the same recalibration task as 1a and 2a. In Experiments 1c, 2c, and 3b, the rate of visual motion was kept constant, but participants walked at either faster or a slower speed. During pre- and posttest, we used either a blindfolded walking distance estimation task or an imagined walking distance estimation task. Additionally, participants performed the pretest and posttest distance estimation tasks in either the real environment or in the virtual environment. With blindfolded walking as the distance estimation task for pre- and posttest, we found a recalibration effect when either the rate of visual motion or the walking speed was manipulated during the recalibration phase. With imagined walking as the distance estimation task, we found a recalibration effect when the rate of visual motion was manipulated but not when the walking speed was manipulated in both the real environment and the virtual environment. Neither blindfolded walking nor imagined walking yielded significant results when 12-year-old children were tested. Discussion focuses on how spatial updating processes operate on perception and action and on representation and action.


x, 72 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 56-58).


Copyright 2012 Christine Julia Ziemer

Included in

Psychology Commons