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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) and by exploiting galvanic vestibular stimulation.

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). Additionally, I use GVS in combination with eye-tracking techniques to adjust in real time the perceived motion for individual subjects.

Perceptual thresholds and tilt coordination in motion simulation

Current physical limitations of motion simulators do not allow for the reproduction of sustained linear accelerations. However, a simulator workspace can be illusorily expanded by moving observers below perceptual thresholds for motion. Particularly, sustained linear accelerations can be simulated by tilting observers below perceptual threshold (tilt coordination). Indeed, when tilted, gravity induces an otolith response that is equivalent to the one induced by horizontal linear translation. However, an optimized tilt coordination technique needs to consider that perceptual thresholds also depend on the combination of additional sensory cues and cognitive factors.


I aim to:

1. measure perceptual thresholds for translation and tilt when vestibular stimulation alone is presented

2. measure perceptual thresholds for tilt in ecological conditions (e.g. while negotiating a curve in a driving simulation)

3. measure perceptual thresholds for tilt when subjects’ mental workload is systematically varied

4. relate the above measured thresholds to slalom driving performances and perceived realism

5. use Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation (GVS) to improve tilt coordination by artificially increasing tilt thresholds as a result of electrical stimulation of the vestibular system’s afferent fibers


Part of this work will be developed in collaboration with the project WABS (Wahrnehmungsbasierte Bewegungssimulation).


WABS - Perception-based motion simulation

The traditional approach to motion simulation is based on the idea that real motion should be exactly reproduced by simulators. However, in many cases the generated motion fails to provide the correct sensation and in extreme cases the discrepancy can lead to motion sickness. The problem does not lie in the technical capabilities of the simulators, but rather on the fact that current approaches focus only on the fidelity of physical motion.

The new perception-based motion simulation approach aims to bring the impression of generated motion as close as possible to reality by implementing psychophysical laws of perception into the control framework of the simulators. Human motion perception models will then be experimentally tested in driving and flying scenarios using the CyberMotion Simulator in order enable a new generation of highly effective motion simulators.


  • 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" - Via Montello, 118 - 21100 Varese - italy


Professional experience

  • 01/10/2009 - 26/04/2010: Development of Hardware and Software for clinical instrumentation at Bioengeneering Laboratory with Professor Giorgio Beltrami - Via Ferrata 1 - 27100 Pavia
  • 01/09/2006 - 16/07/2007: Development of Hardware and Software for clinical instrumentation at Bioengeneering Laboratory with Professor Giorgio Beltrami - Via Ferrata 1 - 27100 Pavia

References per page: Year: Medium:

Show abstracts

Articles (3):

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.
Nesti A Person, Beykirch KA Person, MacNeilage PR Person, Barnett-Cowan M Person and Bülthoff HH Person (January-2014) The importance of stimulus noise analysis for self-motion studies IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement . submitted
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.

Posters (3):

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: Friday, 17.01.2014