September 2015
Volume 15, Issue 12
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2015
Effects of perceptual load in visual search in immersive virtual reality
Author Affiliations
  • Bettina Olk
    Jacobs University Bremen
  • David Zielinski
    Duke University
  • Regis Kopper
    Duke University
Journal of Vision September 2015, Vol.15, 1064. doi:10.1167/15.12.1064
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      ×
      This feature is available to Subscribers Only
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Bettina Olk, David Zielinski, Regis Kopper; Effects of perceptual load in visual search in immersive virtual reality. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):1064. doi: 10.1167/15.12.1064.

      Download citation file:


      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

      ×
  • Supplements
Abstract

Research using computerized displays of simple stimuli has identified perceptual load as a critical factor for modulating distraction. Distraction is stronger when perceptual load is low than when it is high. Typically, participants determine which of two targets, e.g., letters, is present in a search array composed of other letters and perceptual load of the displays is varied. In the present experiment we made contact with the literature but increased ecological validity by assessing distraction in immersive Virtual Reality (VR), in which life-sized stimuli can be displayed in realistic settings, without losing the advantage of controlling conditions. Participants searched for a target (soda or yoghurt) among other daily objects on the countertop in a virtual kitchen. The search array was accompanied by a congruent or incongruent flanker. Perceptual load was manipulated. As expected, participants responded slower with incongruent flankers (flanker effect) and with high load (load effect), confirming that our materials and set up in the VR environment were suitable to elicit the basic effects. Contrary to our expectations based on the load theory of attention the flanker effect was not modulated by load. This finding may suggest that perceptual load may play a smaller role in attention and search in everyday situations than one would assume based on previous work. Obviously, virtual scenarios are more complex than the stimuli used and the conditions run in previous studies. Further, it is possible that daily, very familiar objects may be harder to ignore or be prioritized for processing also under high perceptual load. We discuss factors that may dilute or negate effects of perceptual load in a more ecologically valid situation and outline suggestions for further research. We suggest that VR offers an exciting interdisciplinary approach that may challenge our beliefs based on traditional laboratory research.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015

×
×

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.

×