Laurence R. Harris

PhD (Cambridge)
Professor, Project Leader, Human Performance Laboratory
E–mail: harris@yorku.ca
Website: www.yorku.ca/harris
Research areas: Neurophysiology and Perception of Visual, Vestibular and Oculomotor

Research Focus

I am interested how we perceive the world during movement. As well as being an interesting and important question it represents an approachable and answerable version of the broader (but unanswerable!) question "how does the brain work". Clarifying our understanding of perception during movement provides insight into the principles of brain processing in general. On a practical level, it is important to understand how we process information as we move around since we are almost always moving around!

My laboratory investigates how we represent our position, orientation and motion through the world and the location and timing of events in the world. My emphasis is on how information coming from multiple senses at the same time is combined to achieve this. My students and I measure eye, head and limb position and perception while stimulating the vestibular, visual, tactile and auditory senses in various ways and in various combinations. We use various real and simulated sensory environments, including electrical stimulation, virtual reality, underwater submersion, loudspeakers, lights, headphones, vibrators, screens and photographs to gain independent control of the various senses.

Representative publications:

  1. Kim J, Harris LR (2022) Can People Infer Distance in a 2D Scene Using the Visual Size and Position of an Object? Vision 2022, 6, 25. https://doi.org/10.3390/vision6020025
  2. D’Amour S, Alexe D, Harris LR (2022). Changes in the internal representation of the body following exposure to distorted self-body images. Royal Society Open Science. 9: 210722 https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.210722.
  3. Gabriel GA, Harris LR, Gnanasegaram J, Cushing S, Gordon K, Haycock B, Campos JL. (2022) Age-Related Changes to Vestibular Heave and Pitch Perception and Associations with Postural Control. Scientific Reports. 12:6426 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-09807-4
  4. Kim J, McManus M, Harris LR. (2022) Body Orientation Affects the Perceived Size of Objects. Perception 51(1) 25-36. DOI: 10.1177/03010066211065673
  5. Jörges B, Harris LR (2022) Object Speed Perception During Lateral Self-Motion. Attention, Perception and Psychophysics 84(1): 25-46 https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.3758/s13414-021-02372-4.pdf
  6. McManus M, Harris LR. (2021) When gravity is not where it should be: How perceived orientation affects visual self-motion processing PLoS ONE 16(1): e0243381 https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0243381
  7. Bury N, Jenkin M, Allison RS, Harris LR. (2020) Perceiving jittering self-motion in a field of lollipops from ages 4 to 95. PloS ONE 15(10): e0241087. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0241087