Max Kurtz

Alumni of the Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action
Alumni of the Group Motion Perception and Simulation

Main Focus

I am currently working as an intern in the Reseach Group, exploring biases in visual perception of heading.

Where do biases in visual perception of heading come from?

Heading is the direction of horizontal linear self-motion. Heading estimation is an essential part of the perception of self-motion and therefore essential to everyday tasks such as locomotion and navigation. Visually, we estimate our heading from optic flow which refers to the pattern of motion generated as reflections of objects move across the retina when we move ourselves [1]. This pattern of visual motion expands from a singular point, the Focus-Of-Expansion, and by localizing this point heading can be estimated. Although errors in heading estimation are generally not more than a few degrees, systematic biases are found across studies [2;3] Nature of biases reported in the literature is surprisingly variable and thus possibly does not solely arise from neurological or behavioral origins. This variability most likely stems from different characteristics of the visual environments used in studies [4]. Following project therefore wants to examine different visual environments and their effect on heading perception.


[1] Gibson, J. J. (1960). The perception of the visual world. Cambridge, MA: The Riverside Press.

[2] Telford, L., Howard, I. P., & Ohmi, M. (1995). Heading judgments during active and passive self-motion. Experimental Brain Research, 104(3), 502-510.

[3] Warren, W. H., Morris, M. W., & Kalish, M. (1988). Perception of translational heading from optical flow. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human performance perception and performance, 14(4), 646-660.

[4] de Winkel, K. N., Katliar, M., & Bülthoff, H. H. (2015). Forced fusion in multisensory heading estimation. Plos ONE, 10(5), 1-20.

Curriculum Vitae

Since 09/2016 University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands
Master of Science Psychology
Specialisation Human Factors and Engineering Psychology
02/2015 - 06/2015

University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
Exchange Semester

10/2012 - 08/2016
Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany
Bachelor of Science Business Psychology
Work experience
04/2016 - 07/2016
Internship at Daimler AG in Research and Development Mercedes Benz Cars,
Sindelfingen, Germany
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