Multisensory Contributions Illusory Self-Motion (Vection)


Beyond the Eye: Multisensory Contributions to the Sensation of Illusory Self-Motion (Vection)


Vection is typ­i­cally defined as the embod­ied illu­sion of self-motion in the absence of real phys­i­cal move­ment through space. Vection can occur in real-life sit­u­a­tions (e.g., ‘train illu­sion’) and in vir­tual envi­ron­ments and sim­u­la­tors. The vast major­ity of vec­tion research focuses on vec­tion caused by visual stim­u­la­tion. Even though visu­ally induced vec­tion is arguably the most com­pelling type of vec­tion, the role of non­vi­sual sen­sory inputs, such as audi­tory, bio­me­chan­i­cal, tac­tile, and vestibu­lar cues, have recently gained more atten­tion. Non-visual cues can play an impor­tant role in induc­ing vec­tion in two ways. First, non­vi­sual cues can affect the occur­rence and strength of vec­tion when added to cor­re­spond­ing visual infor­ma­tion. Second, non­vi­sual cues can also elicit vec­tion in the absence of visual infor­ma­tion, for instance when observers are blind­folded or tested in dark­ness. The present paper pro­vides a nar­ra­tive review of the lit­er­a­ture on mul­ti­modal con­tri­bu­tions to vec­tion. We will dis­cuss both the the­o­ret­i­cal and applied rel­e­vance of mul­ti­sen­sory pro­cess­ing as related to the expe­ri­ence of vec­tion and pro­vide design con­sid­er­a­tions on how to enhance vec­tion in var­i­ous contexts.

Supplementary mate­r­ial is avail­able online at: An inter­ac­tive online table of the reviewed mul­ti­sen­sory vec­tion papers is avail­able here.


Riecke, B. E., Murovec, B., Campos, J. L., & Keshavarz, B. (2023). Beyond the Eye: Multisensory Contributions to the Sensation of Illusory Self-Motion (Vection). Multisensory Research, 36(8), 827–864. (Download)