Virtual Reality Bicycling Simulator for Studying Perception-Action Coupled Behaviors in Children


How do Cyclists Control Gap Interception in a Virtual Environment?












This study investigated how bicyclists adjust their speed to pass through a moving gap crossing their line of travel.  Thirty five participants rode a bicycling simulator through a virtual town.  On each cross street, a train of 14 blocks (each the size of typical sedan) was positioned approximately 150 meters to the left of the intersection in the near lane.  The blocks were triggered to move as the bicyclist approached the intersection.  Participants were instructed to time their arrival so that they would safely pass through a 3.5 second target gap in the train of blocks.  The movement of the cross traffic was timed such that if participants rode at constant speed they would either arrive at the intersection as the gap was about to close (Speed Up trials), just after the gap opened (Maintain trials), or just before the gap opened (Slow Down trials).  Results indicated that participants in the Speed Up conditions increased their speed to reach the gap before it closed.  The reduction in speed in Maintain trials was unexpected and the amount of speed reduction in the Slow Down trials was higher than expected. In both cases, cyclists appear to have used a multi-staged strategy to put themselves in a position where they could accelerate into the gap in the last 4-7 seconds before they reached the intersection. 

















Chihak, B. J., Plumert, J. M., Ziemer, C. J., Babu, S., Grechkin, T., Cremer, J. F., & Kearney, J. K. (2010). “Synchronizing self and object movement: How child and adult cyclists intercept moving gaps in a virtual environment,” accepted for publication to the APA Journal on Experimental Psychology.


Chihak, B., Babu, S., Grechkin, T., Ziemer, C., Cremer, J., Kearney, J., and Plumert, J. (2008). “How do bicyclists intercept moving gaps in a virtual environment?” in the Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on Applied Perception in Graphics and Visualization (APGV 2008), p. 188, Los Angeles, CA.


Chihak, B., Pick, H., Plumert, J., Ziemer, C., Babu, S., Cremer, J., and Kearney, J. (2009). “Optic Flow and Physical Effort as Cues for the Perception of the Rate of Self-Produced Motion in VE,” in the Proceedings of the ACM International Symposium on Applied Perception in Graphics and Visualization 2009 (APGV 2009), p. 132, Chania, Crete.









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