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Victoria Interrante, Lane Phillips, Brian Ries, Michael Kaeding; Investigating the potential impact of presence on the accuracy of participants' distance judgments in photo-realistic and non-photorealistic immersive virtual environments. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):1038. doi: 10.1167/10.7.1038.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The reported experiment seeks to provide insight into the impact of rendering style on participants' sense of presence in an immersive virtual environment (IVE). This work is motivated by recent findings that a) people tend not to severely underestimate distances in an immersive virtual environment when that IVE is a high-fidelity replica of the same physical space that they know they are concurrently occupying; but b) people will underestimate distances when the virtual replica environment is rendered in a minimalist, line-drawing (NPR) style. We ultimately seek to disambiguate between two alternative hypotheses: a) is the decline in distance judgment accuracy due to participants' decreased sense of presence in the NPR IVE, which interferes with their ability to act on what they see as if it were real, or b) is it better explained by the lack of sufficient low-level cues to 3D spatial location in the NPR IVE, that were formerly provided by the statistics of the photographic texture? We conducted a between-subjects experiment in which users were fully-tracked and immersed in an IVE that was either a photorealistically or a non-photorealistically rendered replica of our lab. We quantitatively assessed their depth-of-presence using physiological measures of heart-rate and galvanic-skin-response, along with characteristic gait metrics derived from full-body tracking data. Participants in each group were asked to perform a series of tasks that involved traversing the room along a marked path. They did the exercises first in the regular replica IVE and then in a stress-enhanced version, in which the floor surrounding the marked path was cut away to reveal a two-story drop. We measured the differences in each participant's physiological measures and tracked gait metrics between the stressful and non-stressful versions of each environment and then compared the results between the rendering conditions and found significant differences between the groups.
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