Contribution of Motion Parallax and Stereopsis to the Sense of Presence in Virtual Reality
The sense of presence is defined as a subjective feeling of being situated in an environment and occupying a location therein. The sense of presence is a defining feature of virtual environments. In two experiments, we aimed at investigating the relative contribution of motion parallax and stereopsis to the sense of presence, using two versions of the classic pit room paradigm in virtual reality. In Experiment 1, participants were asked to cross a deep abyss between two platforms on a narrow plank. Participants completed the task under three experimental conditions: (1) when the lateral component of motion parallax was disabled, (2) when stereopsis was disabled, and (3) when both stereopsis and motion parallax were available. As a subjective measure of presence, participants completed a presence questionnaire after each condition. Additionally, electrodermal activity (EDA) was recorded as a measure of anxiety. In Experiment 1, EDA responses were significantly higher with restricted motion parallax as compared to the other two conditions. However, no difference was observed in terms of the subjective presence scores across the three conditions. To test whether these results were due to the nature of the environment, participants in Experiment 2 experienced a slightly less stressful environment, where they were asked to stand on a ledge and drop virtual balls to specified targets into the abyss. The same experimental manipulations were used as in Experiment 1. Again, the EDA responses were significantly higher when motion parallax was impaired as compared to when stereopsis was disabled. The results of the presence questionnaire revealed a reduced sense of presence with impaired motion parallax compared to the normal viewing condition. Across the two experiments, our results unexpectedly demonstrate that presence in the virtual environments is not necessarily linked to EDA responses elicited by affective situations as has been implied by earlier studies.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Centre for Neuroscience Studies, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada 2: Centre for Vision Research, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Publication date: March 1, 2020
This article was made available online on July 21, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "Contribution of Motion Parallax and Stereopsis to the Sense of Presence in Virtual Reality".
- Journal of Perceptual Imaging (JPI) is an open access, peer-reviewed publication of the Society for Imaging Science and Technology (IS&T). JPI publishes research in perception and cognition that supports or is inspired by imaging and visualization technologies and applications. Papers cover imaging science, technology, and art that is influenced by research in human perception, cognition, and neuroscience, including algorithms, evaluation methods, and innovations, as well as art and psychology that addresses sensory representation, processing, and understanding. Experimental, theoretical, and survey papers are welcome. Please visit the publication website for a list of topics.
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