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The influence of body movement on subjective presence in virtual environments

Slater, M; Steed, A; McCarthy, J; Maringelli, F; (1998) The influence of body movement on subjective presence in virtual environments. HUM FACTORS , 40 (3) 469 - 477.

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Abstract

We describe an experiment to assess the influence of body movements on presence in a virtual environment. In the experiment 20 participants were to walk through a virtual field of trees and count the trees with diseased leaves. A 2 x 2 between-subjects design was used to assess the influence of two factors on presence: tree height variation and task complexity. The field with greater variation in tree height required participants to bend down and look up more than in the lower variation tree height field. In the higher complexity task participants were told to remember the distribution of diseased trees in the field as well as to count them. The results showed a significant positive association between reported presence and the amount of body movement - in particular, head yaw - and the extent to which participants bent down and stood up. There was also a strong interaction effect between task complexity and gender: Women in the more-complex task reported a much lower sense of presence than in the simpler task. For applications in which presence is an important requirement, the research in this paper suggests that presence will be increased when interaction techniques are employed that permit the user to engage in whole-body movement.

Type:Article
Title:The influence of body movement on subjective presence in virtual environments
Keywords:PSYCHOPHYSICS, MUSINGS, SENSE
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Computer Science

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