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Alessandro Nesti

Address: Spemannstr. 41
72076 Tübingen
Room number: 2.B.03
Phone: +49 7071 601 642
E-Mail: Alessandro.Nesti

 

Picture of Nesti, Alessandro

Alessandro Nesti

Position: PhD Student  Unit: Bülthoff

Motion Cueing Optimization

I am a PhD student with background in biomedical engineering. I currently work on the Wahrnehmungsbasierte Bewegungssimulation (WABS) project within the Motion Perception and Simulation research group. My research interest is to investigate and optimize techniques to perceptually expand the limited physical workspace of dynamic vehicles simulators. This is done by implementing knowledge of human self-motion perception into the control framework of the simulators (Motion Compression).

I use the MPI CyberMotion simulator to provide wide motion ranges and an immersive virtual environment. Perceptual thresholds and sensitivity for self-motion are estimated in different conditions using psychophysical adaptive methods. I use behavioral tasks to measure subjects’ performances both objectively (e.g. errors, failures, deviations, delays) and subjectively (e.g. preference judgments on motion fidelity).

Human self-motion perception: from psychophysical laws

to perception-based motion simulation

 

Introduction

Motion based simulators are widely employed in pilot (or driver) training protocols and in developing pilot assistance systems. However, faithful reproduction of the simulated maneuvers is constrained by the physical limits of the motion system, particularly when those maneuvers involve high or sustained accelerations. It is therefore a challenging problem to select feasible motions that prevent pilots from perceiving a conflict between expected and experienced motion. This is commonly done by implementing knowledge about human self-motion perception in the control framework of motion based simulators.

 

Goals

The goal of this project is to extend current knowledge on self-motion perception by performing experiments in conditions that closely resemble the richness and complexity of real-life situations (e.g. wide motion ranges, driving task). Specifically, we aim at measuring self-motion sensitivity while we manipulate (i) motion direction and intensity (ii) source of sensory information (visual, inertial, visual-inertial) (iii) mental and physical workload. Experimental data are used to derive psychophysical laws that analytically relate physical and perceived motion stimuli. These laws are then implemented into current self-motion perception models and applied in the framework of perception-based vehicle simulation.

 

Methods

We use the MPI CyberMotion Simulator to provide wide motion ranges and an immersive virtual environment (Figure 1). Sensitivity measures such as differential thresholds (i.e. the smallest perceivable change in motion intensity) are estimated in different conditions using psychophysical adaptive methods. We use behavioral tasks to measure subjects’ performances both objectively (e.g. errors, delays, control signals) and subjectively (e.g. verbal reports, forced-choice decision tasks).

 

Results and Conclusions

Human differential thresholds increase with increasing stimulus intensity following a trend described well by a convex power law [1], revealing a nonlinearity in the perception of self-motion. Similar trends are found for visual only, inertial only and congruent visual-inertial cues (Figure 2). Besides for its ecological validity, the latter finding is of particular interest because it contradicts current theories of multisensory integration in perception, which predict higher sensitivity in the presence of combined visual and inertial cues. Motion sensitivity also decreases when different simulator motions are combined (e.g. rotation and translation). Furthermore, sensitivity can drop when performing an active control task [2]. We identified and implemented psychophysical laws in a multisensory self-motion perception model that now captures the nonlinear relationship between perception and motion intensity.

Future modeling work will also address the effect of combining different motion directions as well as the role of mental workload. We expect these models to be beneficial for developing perception-based algorithms for motion simulators.

 

References

  1. Nesti A, Barnett-Cowan M, Macneilage PR, Bülthoff HH (2014) Human sensitivity to vertical self-motion. Exp Brain Res 232: 303–31
  2. Nesti A, Masone C, Barnett-Cowan M, Giordano PR, Bülthoff HH, Pretto P (2012) Roll rate thresholds and perceived realism in driving simulation. Driving simulation conference

 

 

Education

  • 10/2010 - now: PhD in Neuroscience at the "Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics" - Spemannstrase 41 - 72076 Tübingen, Germany
  • 10/2003 - 04/2010: Master’s degree in biomedical engineering at "Università degli Studi di Pavia" - Via Ferrata, 1 - 27100 Pavia - Italy
  • 07/2003: European Baccalaureat at the "European School of Varese" - Italy

 

Professional experience

  • 02/2011 - now: Research activity for my PhD project on the human perception of self-motion at Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics with Professor Heinrich H Bülthoff, Spemannstrasse 38 – 72076 Tübingen, Germany
  • 11/2011 - 11/2013: Technical support and research activity within a VIP project on perception-based motion simulation at Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics with Professor Heinrich H Bülthoff, Spemannstrasse 38 – 72076 Tübingen, Germany
  • 10/2009 - 04/2010: Development of Hardware and Software for the diagnosis of the Ocular Tilt Reaction syndrome at Bioengeneering Laboratory with Professor Giorgio Beltrami - Via Ferrata 1 - 27100 Pavia
  • 09/2006 - 07/2007: Development of Hardware and Software for rehabilitation of vestibular disorders at Bioengeneering Laboratory with Professor Giorgio Beltrami - Via Ferrata 1 - 27100 Pavia

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Articles (3):

Nesti A Person, Beykirch KA Person, MacNeilage PR Person, Barnett-Cowan M Person and Bülthoff HH Person (April-2014) The importance of stimulus noise analysis for self-motion studies PLoS ONE 9(4) 1-8.
Nesti A Person, Barnett-Cowan M Person, MacNeilage PR Person and Bülthoff HH Person (January-2014) Human sensitivity to vertical self-motion Experimental Brain Research 232(1) 303-314.
Ramat S , Nesti A Person, Versino M , Colnaghi S , Magnaghi C , Bianchi A and Beltrami G (September-2011) A new device to assess static ocular torsion Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1233 226-230.

Conference papers (1):

Nesti A Person, Masone C Person, Barnett-Cowan M Person, Robuffo Giordano P Person, Bülthoff HH Person and Pretto P Person (September-2012) Roll rate thresholds and perceived realism in driving simulation Driving Simulation Conference Europe (DSC 2012), INRETS, Bron, France, 1-6.
pdf

Posters (8):

Nooij S Person, Pretto P Person, Bülthoff HH Person and Nesti A Person (June-13-2014): Nonveridical perception of heading and travelled path during curved trajectories, 15th International Multisensory Research Forum (IMRF 2014), Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Nesti A Person, Beykirch K Person, Pretto P Person and Bülthoff HH Person (May-18-2014): Human self-motion sensitivity to visual yaw rotations, 14th Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS 2014), St. Pete Beach, FL, USA, Journal of Vision, 14(10) 485.
Pretto P Person, Nesti A Person, Nooij S Person, Losert M Person and Bülthoff HH Person (May-17-2014): Tilt-rate perception in vehicle simulation: the role of motion, vision and attention, 14th Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS 2014), St. Pete Beach, FL, USA, Journal of Vision, 14(10) 279.
Nesti A Person, Beykirch KA Person, Pretto P Person and Bülthoff HH Person (April-2014): Human sensitivity to visual-inertial self-motion, 24th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Neural Control of Movements (NCM 2014), Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Nooij S Person, Pretto P Person, Nesti A Person and Bülthoff HH Person (April-2014): Perception of heading and travelled path during curvilinear trajectories, 24th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Neural Control of Movements (NCM 2014), Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Nesti A Person, Beykirch K Person, Pretto P Person and Bülthoff HH Person (November-2012): Human sensitivity to different motion intensities, 13th Conference of the Junior Neuroscientists of Tübingen (NeNA 2012), Schramberg, Germany.
Nesti A Person, Barnett-Cowan M Person, Bülthoff HH Person and Pretto P Person (June-21-2012): Roll rate thresholds in driving simulation, 13th International Multisensory Research Forum (IMRF 2012), Oxford, UK, Seeing and Perceiving, 25(0) 167.
Nesti A Person, Barnett-Cowan M Person, MacNeilage P Person and Bülthoff HH Person (January-2012): Differential Thresholds for Vertical Motion, 22nd Okulomotoriktreffen Zürich-München (ZüMü 2012), Zürich, Switzerland.

Talks (1):

Nesti A Person and Beltrami G (September-24-2011): Instrumentation for the evaluation of the centro-cecal axis rotation to assess static ocular torsion, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany.

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Last updated: Tuesday, 18.11.2014