Studies of locomotion in virtual environments assume that correct geometric principles define the relationship between walking speed and environmental flow. However, we have observed that geometrically correct optic flow appears to be too slow during simulated locomotion on a treadmill. Experiment 1 documents the effect in a head-mounted display. Experiment 2 shows that the effect is eliminated when the gaze is directed downward or to the side, or when the walking speed is slow. Experiment 3 shows that the effect is unchanged by stride length. Experiment 4 verifies that the effect is not attributable to image jitter. The change in perceived speed from straight ahead to side or down gaze coincides with a shift from expanding optic flow to lamellar flow. Therefore, we hypothesize that lamellar flow is necessary for accurate speed perception, and that a limited field of view eliminates this cue during straight-ahead gaze.

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