Thomas Stoffregen, Ph.D.

Professor, School of Kinesiology


Research Interests:

The perceptual guidance of action, and the use of motor activity to obtain perceptual information are two of the central aspects of animate behavior. Even one-celled organisms perceive to move, and move to perceive. Research on relations between perception and action is relatively recent in the behavioral sciences, and I contribute to research in this area. My focus is on the integration of perception and action in the context of meaningful behaviors. Relations between properties of the environment and properties of the organism have consequences for behavior. These relations, known as affordances, are directly relevant to the success of our interactions with the environment and, accordingly, perception and action should be concentrated on learning about affordances and on the use of affordances to achieve behavioral goals.

My lab has two main lines of research. The first concerns the role of exploratory movement in the perception of affordances, and is intimately related to the emerging field of Embodied Cognition. Research on embodied cognition offers a means to understand the recent explosion of discoveries relating to plasticity in the nervous system, and one of my aims is to develop this link through collaborative research at the boundary of behavioral science and neuroscience.

Our second focus is on relations between perception and action in motion sickness. Motion sickness is increasingly common among users of virtual environments and simulators, and among the millions of children and adults who play video games. We are evaluating a new theory of motion sickness etiology, which focuses on postural instability as the causal agent.

Selected Publications:

(For a comprehensive list of recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine.)

  • Izquierdo-Herrera R, García-Massó X, González LM, Wade MG, Stoffregen TA. Visual tasks and stance width influence the spatial magnitude and temporal dynamics of standing body sway in 6- to 12-year old children. Hum Mov Sci. 2018 Mar 29;59:56-65. 
  • Li R, Walter H, Curry C, Rath R, Peterson N, Stoffregen TA.Postural time-to-contact as a precursor of visually induced motion sickness. Exp Brain Res. 2018 Mar 27;.
  • Stoffregen TA, Chang CH, Chen FC, Zeng WJ. Effects of decades of physical driving on body movement and motion sickness during virtual driving. PLoS One. 2017 Nov 9;12(11):e0187120.
  • Chang CH, Chen FC, Kung WC, Stoffregen TA. Effects of physical driving experience on body movement and motion sickness during virtual driving. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2017;88(11):985-992.
  • Munafo J, Diedrick M, Stoffregen TA. The virtual reality head-mounted display Oculus Rift induces motion sickness and is sexist in its effects. Exp Brain Res. 2017;235(3):889-901.
  • Keshavarz B, Novak AC, Hettinger LJ, Stoffregen TA, Campos JL. Passive restraint reduces visually induced motion sickness in older adults. J Exp Psychol Appl. 2017;23(1):85-99.
  • Walter H, Wagman JB, Stergiou N, Erkmen N,  Walter H, Wagman JB, Stergiou N, Erkmen N, Stoffregen TA. Dynamic perception of dynamic affordances: walking on a ship at sea. Exp Brain Res. 2017;235(2):517-524.
  • Wagman JB, Stoffregen TA, Bai J, Schloesser DS. Perceiving nested affordances for another person's actions. Q J Exp Psychol (Hove). 2017 Jan 31:1-11
  • Munafo J, Wade MG, Stergiou N, Stoffregen TA. The rim and the ancient mariner: The nautical horizon affects postural sway in older adults. PLoS One. 2016 Dec 14;11(12):e0166900.
  • Wagman JB, Caputo SE, Stoffregen TA. Sensitivity to hierarchical relations among affordances in the assembly of asymmetric tools. Exp Brain Res. 2016;234(10):2923-33.
  • Koslucher F, Munafo J, Stoffregen TA. Postural sway in men and women during nauseogenic motion of the illuminated environment. Exp Brain Res. 2016;234(9):2709-20..
  • Mantel B, Stoffregen TA, Campbell A, Bardy BG. Exploratory movement generates higher-order information that is sufficient for accurate perception of scaled egocentric distance. PLoS One. 2015 Apr 9;10(4):e0120025.
  • Joŕdan AJ, McCarten JR, Rottunda S, Stoffregen TA, Manor B, Wade MG. Dementia alters standing postural adaptation during a visual search task in older adult men. Neurosci Lett. 2015;593:101-6.
  • Chen FC, Tsai CL, Biltz GR, Stoffregen TA, Wade MG. Variations in cognitive demand affect heart rate in typically developing children and children at risk for developmental coordination disorder. Res Dev Disabil. 2015;38:362-71.
  • Varlet M, Stoffregen TA, Chen FC, Alcantara C, Marin L, Bardy BG. Just the sight of you: postural effects of interpersonal visual contact at sea. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 2014;40(6):2310-8.
  • Chen YC, Tseng TC, Hung TH, Stoffregen TA. Precursors of post-bout motion sickness in adolescent female boxers. Exp Brain Res. 2014;232(8):2571-9.
  • Stoffregen TA, Chen YC, Koslucher FC. Motion control, motion sickness, and the postural dynamics of mobile devices. Exp Brain Res. 2014;232(4):1389-97.
  • Chen FC, Tsai CL, Stoffregen TA, Chang CH, Wade MG. Postural adaptations to a suprapostural memory task among children with and without developmental coordination disorder. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2012;54(2):155-9.
  • Dong X, Yoshida K, Stoffregen TA. Control of a virtual vehicle influences postural activity and motion sickness. J Exp Psychol Appl. 2011;17(2):128-38. doi: 10.1037/a0024097.
  • Chen FC, Tsai CL, Stoffregen TA, Wade MG. Postural responses to a suprapostural visual task among children with and without developmental coordination disorder. Res Dev Disabil. 2011;32(5):1948-56.
  • Yu Y, Bardy BG, Stoffregen TA. Influences of head and torso movement before and during affordance perception. J Mot Behav. 2011;43:45-54.
  • Mayo AM, Wade MG, Stoffregen TA. Postural effects of the horizon on land and at sea. Psychol Sci. 2011;22(1):118-24.
Thomas Stoffregen