October 2020
Volume 20, Issue 11
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   October 2020
Investigating Cues for Perspective-Taking in Virtual Reality
Author Affiliations
  • Morgan A. Saxon
    University of Utah
  • Brandon J. Thomas
    University of Utah
    University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
  • Jeanine K. Stefanucci
    University of Utah
  • Sarah H. Creem-Regehr
    University of Utah
Journal of Vision October 2020, Vol.20, 767. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.767
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      Morgan A. Saxon, Brandon J. Thomas, Jeanine K. Stefanucci, Sarah H. Creem-Regehr; Investigating Cues for Perspective-Taking in Virtual Reality. Journal of Vision 2020;20(11):767. https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.767.

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

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Findings from the perspective-taking literature show individuals are good at understanding what can be seen from different perspectives, but less is known about how well individuals can judge possible actions from perspectives other than their own. In a previous study, we used a novel paradigm that combined a perspective-taking task with a reaching judgment in immersive virtual reality to investigate individuals’ abilities to judge affordances when engaged in perspective taking. We also examined whether judgments were facilitated by the presence of a virtual human avatar. We found participants were generally faster at making a judgment when cued by an avatar versus an empty virtual chair. When the avatar was present, response times increased with disparity, showing a traditional mental rotation function that did not occur with the chair. In the current experiment, we tested whether this effect was driven more by the salience of the avatar as a cue or by the presence of an avatar body . Participants judged whether a ball on a table was reachable from their own perspective or from a different perspective around the table (90 to 270 degrees). Participants were cued to the new perspective with either an empty chair or a chair occupied by a cylinder. Participants responded whether the ball was most easily reached with their right or left hand, or not reachable. Preliminary analyses show participants were faster at responding when the cylinder was present versus when it was not, but the shape of the function for the cylinder was similar to what we saw for the empty chair in the previous experiment. The results suggest that both the avatar and cylinder increase the salience of the cue, facilitating response time, but that there may be a unique contribution of the avatar to perspective taking in this task.


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