November 8, 2017 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Humans have evolved a unique and highly advantageous form of locomotion that makes us capable of walking for long distances with striking efficiency and stability. Control of locomotion is highly dependent on visual information about the environment we are moving through, especially when there is a need for adaptive and responsive behavior in response to complexities in the terrain. Such complexities include the need to rapidly adjust foot placement, make decisions about where to step, or avoid colliding with obstacles. Understanding the cognition that underlies locomotor behavior requires understanding the link between perceptual information picked up from the environment and the subsequent actions taken by walkers. Here I present work that explores how visual perception is utilized by walkers in realistic environments to help them exploit their evolved biomechanics for the purpose of efficient and stable locomotion. Specifically I focus on when visual information about the terrain is necessary for modulating behavior in response to novel information about the terrain.