Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Haluk Ogmen

Second Advisor

Mario Lopez

Third Advisor

Mohammad Mahoor

Fourth Advisor

Timothy Sweeny

Fifth Advisor

David Gao


Binocular combination, Canonical theory, Mental rotation, Motion perception, Reference frames, Sensorimotor control


Reference-frames, or coordinate systems, are used to express properties and relationships of objects in the environment. While the use of reference-frames is well understood in physical sciences, how the brain uses reference-frames remains a fundamental question. The goal of this dissertation is to reach a better understanding of reference-frames in human perceptual, motor, and cognitive processing. In the first project, we study reference-frames in perception and develop a model to explain the transition from egocentric (based on the observer) to exocentric (based outside the observer) reference-frames to account for the perception of relative motion. In a second project, we focus on motor behavior, more specifically on goal-directed reaching. We develop a model that explains how egocentric perceptual and motor reference-frames can be coordinated through exocentric reference-frames. Finally, in a third project, we study how the cognitive system can store and recognize objects by using sensorimotor schema that allows mental rotation within an exocentric reference-frame.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Dongcheng He


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

203 pgs


Neurosciences, Cognitive psychology, Artificial intelligence