My research focuses on the visual control of action - in particular, human locomotion and navigation. On the one hand, I want to understand how motor behavior such as gait and other rhythmic movements are dynamically organized. On the other, I seek to explain how such behavior is adaptively regulated by visual information in complex environments. Using virtual reality techniques, my research team investigates problems such as the visual control of steering, obstacle avoidance, pedestrian interactions, and collective crowd behavior. This technology allows us to manipulate what human subjects see while walking through the virtual landscape, and to measure how they respond to this information. By using computer graphics, we test how the visual system determines one's future path from information such as optic flow, in order to characterize the functions that the brain must perform. The ultimate aim of this research is to understand how adaptive behavior emerges from the dynamic interaction of an organism and its environment. I think the answers will not be found solely in the brain, but will also depend on the physical and informational regularities that the brain exploits. This research contributes to a foundation of basic knowledge that is needed to understand visual-motor disorders and mobility problems in humans, and to develop mobile robots that can operate in novel environments such as the surface of Mars.
I became interested in this research as a doctoral candidate in experimental psychology at the University of Connecticut when it became clear to me that the function of vision is to control behavior. Early perceptual experiments led to my current interest in the link between vision and action.
|Warren, William H. Non-Euclidean navigation. The Journal of Experimental Biology/The Journal of Experimental Biology. 2019; 222 (Suppl 1) : jeb187971.|
|Kinateder M, Warren WH, Schloss KB What color are emergency exit signs? Egress behavior differs from verbal report. Applied Ergonomics/Applied Ergonomics. 2019; 75 : 155-160.|
|Warren, William H. Collective Motion in Human Crowds. Current Directions in Psychological Science/Current Directions in Psychological Science. 2018; 27 (4) : 232-240.|
|Kinateder, Max, Comunale, Brittany, Warren, William H. Exit choice in an emergency evacuation scenario is influenced by exit familiarity and neighbor behavior. Safety Science/Safety Science. 2018; 106 : 170-175.|
|Rio, K.W. Dachner, G.C. Warren, W.H. The local neighbourhood underlying collective motion in human crowds. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 2018; 285|
|Zhao, Huaiyong, Warren, William H. Intercepting a moving target: On-line or model-based control?. Journal of Vision/Journal of Vision. 2017; 17 (5) : 12.|
|Kiefer, Adam W., Rio, Kevin, Bonneaud, Stéphane, Walton, Ashley, Warren, William H. Quantifying and Modeling Coordination and Coherence in Pedestrian Groups. Frontiers in Psychology/Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci. 2017; 8|
|Chrastil, Elizabeth R., Warren, William H. Rotational error in path integration: encoding and execution errors in angle reproduction. Experimental Brain Research/Exp Brain Res. 2017; 235 (6) : 1885-1897.|
|Warren, W.H., Rothman, D.B., Schnapp, B.H. & Ericson, J.D. Wormholes in virtual space: From cognitive maps to cognitive graphs. Cognition. 2017; 166 : 152-163.|
|Kinateder, Max, Warren, William H. Social Influence on Evacuation Behavior in Real and Virtual Environments. Frontiers in Robotics and AI/Frontiers in Robotics and AI. 2016; 3|
|Chrastil, Elizabeth R., Warren, William H. Active and passive spatial learning in human navigation: Acquisition of graph knowledge.. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. 2015; 41 (4) : 1162-1178.|
|Zhao, Mintao, Warren, William H. Environmental stability modulates the role of path integration in human navigation. Cognition. 2015; 142 : 96-109.|
|Zhao, M., Warren, W. H. How you get there from here: Interaction of visual landmarks and path integration in human navigation. Psychological Science. 2015; 26 (6) : 915-924.|
|Zhao, Huaiyong, Warren, William H. On-line and model-based approaches to the visual control of action. Vision research. 2015; 110 : 190-202.|
|Rhea, Christopher K., Kiefer, Adam W., Haran, F.J., Glass, Stephen M., Warren, William H. A new measure of the CoP trajectory in postural sway: Dynamics of heading change. Medical Engineering & Physics. 2014; 36 (11) : 1473-1479.|
|Dachner, Gregory C., Warren, William H. Behavioral Dynamics of Heading Alignment in Pedestrian Following. Transportation Research Procedia. 2014; 2 : 69-76.|
|Rhea, Christopher K., Kiefer, Adam W., D’Andrea, Susan E., Warren, William H., Aaron, Roy K. Entrainment to a real time fractal visual stimulus modulates fractal gait dynamics. Human Movement Science. 2014; 36 : 20-34.|
|Rio, K. W., Rhea, C. K., Warren, W. H. Follow the leader: Visual control of speed in pedestrian following. Journal of Vision. 2014; 14 (2) : 4-4.|
|Chrastil, Elizabeth R., Warren, William H. From Cognitive Maps to Cognitive Graphs. PLoS ONE. 2014; 9 (11) : e112544.|
|Rio, Kevin, Warren, William H. The Visual Coupling between Neighbors in Real and Virtual Crowds. Transportation Research Procedia. 2014; 2 : 132-140.|
|Chrastil, Elizabeth R., Warren, William H. Active and passive spatial learning in human navigation: Acquisition of survey knowledge.. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. 2013; 39 (5) : 1520-1537.|
|Chrastil, Elizabeth R., Warren, William H. Does the human odometer use an extrinsic or intrinsic metric?. Atten Percept Psychophys. 2013; 76 (1) : 230-246.|
|Siegler, I. A., Bazile, C., Warren, W. H. Mixed control for perception and action: timing and error correction in rhythmic ball-bouncing. Exp Brain Res. 2013; 226 (4) : 603-615.|
|Bonneaud, Stéphane, Rio, Kevin, Chevaillier, Pierre, Warren, William H. Accounting for Patterns of Collective Behavior in Crowd Locomotor Dynamics for Realistic Simulations. Automata, Languages and Programming. 2012; : 1-11.|
|Cinelli, Michael, Warren, William H. Do walkers follow their heads? Investigating the role of head rotation in locomotor control. Exp Brain Res. 2012; 219 (2) : 175-190.|
|Chrastil, Elizabeth R., Warren, William H. Active and passive contributions to spatial learning. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. 2011; 19 (1) : 1-23.|
|Siegle, Joshua H, Warren, William H Distal attribution and distance perception in sensory substitution. Perception. 2010; 39 (2) : 208-223.|
|Siegler, Isabelle A., Bardy, Benoît G., Warren, William H. Passive vs. active control of rhythmic ball bouncing: The role of visual information.. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. 2010; 36 (3) : 729-750.|
|Bruggeman, H., Warren, W. H. The Direction of Walking--but Not Throwing or Kicking--Is Adapted by Optic Flow. Psychological Science. 2010; 21 (7) : 1006-1013.|
|Gérin-Lajoie, Martin, Ciombor, Deborah McK., Warren, William H., Aaron, Roy K. Using ambulatory virtual environments for the assessment of functional gait impairment: A proof-of-concept study. Gait & Posture. 2010; 31 (4) : 533-536.|
|Fink, P. W., Foo, P. S., Warren, W. H. Catching fly balls in virtual reality: A critical test of the outfielder problem. Journal of Vision. 2009; 9 (13) : 14-14.|
|Warren, William H. How do animals get about by vision? Visually controlled locomotion and orientation after 50 years. British Journal of Psychology. 2009; 100 (S1) : 277-281.|
|Warren, William H. Using Ambulatory VR to Break the Laws of Physics and Optics. Frontiers in Optics 2008/Laser Science XXIV/Plasmonics and Metamaterials/Optical Fabrication and Testing. 2008;|
|Fajen, Brett R., Warren, William H. Behavioral dynamics of intercepting a moving target. Exp Brain Res. 2007; 180 (2) : 303-319.|
|Morice, Antoine H. P., Siegler, Isabelle A., Bardy, Benoît G., Warren, William H. Learning new perception–action solutions in virtual ball bouncing. Exp Brain Res. 2007; 181 (2) : 249-265.|
|Fink, Philip W., Foo, Patrick S., Warren, William H. Obstacle avoidance during walking in real and virtual environments. ACM Transactions on Applied Perception. 2007; 4 (1) : 2-es.|
|Bruggeman, Hugo, Zosh, Wendy, Warren, William H. Optic Flow Drives Human Visuo-Locomotor Adaptation. Current Biology. 2007; 17 (23) : 2035-2040.|
|Mohler, Betty J., Thompson, William B., Creem-Regehr, Sarah H., Pick, Herbert L., Warren, William H. Visual flow influences gait transition speed and preferred walking speed. Exp Brain Res. 2007; 181 (2) : 221-228.|
|Foo, Patrick, Duchon, Andrew, Warren, William H., Tarr, Michael J. Humans do not switch between path knowledge and landmarks when learning a new environment. Psychological Research. 2006; 71 (3) : 240-251.|
|Fernandez, Laure, Warren, William H., Bootsma, Reinoud J. Kinematic adaptation to sudden changes in visual task constraints during reciprocal aiming. Human Movement Science. 2006; 25 (6) : 695-717.|
|Warren, William H. The dynamics of perception and action.. Psychological Review. 2006; 113 (2) : 358-389.|
|Huang, Wesley H., Fajen, Brett R., Fink, Jonathan R., Warren, William H. Visual navigation and obstacle avoidance using a steering potential function. Robotics and Autonomous Systems. 2006; 54 (4) : 288-299.|
|Laidlaw, D.H., Kirby, R.M., Jackson, C.D., Davidson, J.S., Miller, T.S., da Silva, M., Warren, W.H., Tarr, M.J. Comparing 2D Vector Field Visualization Methods: A User Study. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics. 2005; 11 (01) : 59-70.|
|Foo, Patrick, Warren, William H., Duchon, Andrew, Tarr, Michael J. Do Humans Integrate Routes Into a Cognitive Map? Map- Versus Landmark-Based Navigation of Novel Shortcuts.. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. 2005; 31 (2) : 195-215.|
|Warren, William H., Fajen, Brett R. Behavioral Dynamics of Human Locomotion. Ecological Psychology. 2004; 16 (1) : 61-66.|
|Li, Li, Warren, William H. Path perception during rotation: influence of instructions, depth range, and dot density. Vision research. 2004; 44 (16) : 1879-1889.|
|Fajen, Brett R, Warren, William H Visual guidance of intercepting a moving target on foot. Perception. 2004; 33 (6) : 689-715.|
|Fajen, Brett R., Warren, William H. Behavioral dynamics of steering, obstable avoidance, and route selection.. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance/Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. 2003; 29 (2) : 343-362.|
|Hatsopoulos, Nicholas G., Warren, William H. Do control variables exist?. Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 1995; 18 (04) : 762.|
|Warren, W.H. Hannon, D. Direction of self-motion is perceived from optical flow. Nature. 1988; 336 : 162-3.|
|Warren, William H., Shaw, Robert E. Psychophysics and ecometrics. Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 1981; 4 (02) : 209.|
(a) Current grants
NIH, "A vision-based model of locomotion in crowded environments." 2019-24, PI, $1,662,000.
NSF, "Self-organization and collective decision-making in human crowds." 2019-2022, PI, final budget pending.
(b) Completed grants
NIH, "Age-related changes in the visual control of locomotion." 1985-88, PI, $240,000.
NIH, "Visual control of locomotion." 1989-94, PI, $500,000.
NIH, "Visual control of locomotion." 1994-98, PI, $675,000.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Research Career Development Award, "Visual control of adaptive behavior." 1997-02, PI, $500,000.
NSF, "Learning minimal representations for visual navigation." 1997-01, Co-PI (with Tarr and Kaelbling), $825,000.
NIH, "Visual control of locomotion." 1998-03, PI, $830,222.
NSF/Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Training Grant, "Dealing with uncertainty: Cognitive, computational, and statistical approaches." 1998-06, participating faculty (with Johnson, et al).
NSF, "Visualization of Multi-Valued Scientific Data." 2000-03, Co-PI (with Laidlaw, et al.), $2,296,599.
National Science Foundation (NSF), "Dynamics of action and perception in a rhythmic task," 2005-08, Co-PI (with Dagmar Sternad), $283,725.
NSF, "Learning minimal representations for visual navigation and recognition." 2003-07, Co-PI (with Michael Tarr), $324,714.
National Institutes of Health (NIH), "Visual control of locomotion." 2003-2008, PI, $1,241,290.
NSF, "The geometry of spatial knowledge for navigation." 2009-12, PI, $456,663.
VA, "Virtual reality and motion analysis to characterize functional mobility in lower linb injury," 2009-13, Co-PI (with Roy Aaron), $1,000,000.
NIH, "Visual control of locomotion." 2008-13, PI, $1,323,260.
NSF, "Collective behavior of human crowds," 2014-17, PI, $270,117
|1982||PhD||University of Connecticut|
|1979||MA||University of Connecticut|
|Postdoctoral Fellow||University of Edinburgh, psychology||1983-1983||Edinburgh, Scotland|
National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Fellow, 1977-80
National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Research Service Award, 1983
Fulbright Research Scholar Award, 1989
W.L. Bryan Lecture in Cognitive Science, Indiana University, 1994
Faculty Colloquium, Brown University, 1995
Elizabeth Leduc Award for Teaching Excellence in the Life Sciences, 1995-96
James J. Gibson Lecture, Cornell University, 1997
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Research Career Development Award, 1997-2002
Professeur Invité, University of Paris, Orsay; 2001, 2011
Professeur Invité, University of Aix-Mariseille, 2002
Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, 2005
Astor Visiting Lecturer, Oxford University, 2008 (two week residency)
Distinguished Visitor, Hong Kong University, 2010 (two week residency)
Fellow, Society of Experimental Psychologists, 2012
Distinguished Scholar-Lecturer, University of Alberta, 2017
Foreign Expert, NYU-ECNU Joint Institute, Shanghai, 2018 (ten day residency)
President, International Society for Ecological Psychology, 2015-present
Board of Directors, International Society for Ecological Psychology, 1986-present
Review Committee, Vision Sciences Society, 2000-2016
NSF College of Reviewers
Member, National Science Foundation (NSF) Advisory Panel on Human Cognition and Perception, 1995-1998.
Committee of Visitation, NSF Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2003
Editorial Board, Ecological Psychology.
Ad Hoc Reviewer: Nature; Nature Neuroscience; Current Biology; PNAS; Journal of the Royal Society Interface; NeuroReport; Journal of Neuroscience; Journal of Vision; Vision Research; Perception; Perception and Psychophysics; Journal of the Optical Society of America A; Experimental Brain Research; Psychological Review; Psychological Science; Psychological Bulletin; Cognition; Cognitive Psychology; Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance; Experimental Brain Research; Journal of Motor Behavior; Human Movement Science; Gait & Posture; Neural Computation; Adaptive Behavior; ACM Transactions on Applied Perception; IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics; IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems; Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology; Philosophical Psychology; Developmental Psychology; Developmental Psychobiology; National Science Foundation; National Institutes of Health; National Institute of Mental Health; NWO (Netherlands); National Sciences and Research Council of Canada; The Wellcome Trust, England; Canada Council for the Arts.
I teach in the areas of visual perception, motor control, human cognition, ecological psychology, and research methods and statistics. Recent courses include:
CLPS 0510 Perception, Illusion, and the Visual Arts
CLPS 1500 Perception and Action
CLPS 1980 Independent study
CLPS 2001 Core Concepts in Cognitive and Psycyological Sciences I
|CLPS 1500 - Perception and Action|
|CLPS 2001 - Core Concepts in Cognitive and Psychological Sciences I|