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December 2016

Separate recalibration of perception of distance and object size in virtual environment

  • S. Nishina,
  • in Perception,
  • vol. 45,
  • no. 2,
  • 2016,
  • p. 041,
  • Conference paper

Distances are commonly underestimated in immersive virtual reality environment and thus, a presented virtual scene is perceived smaller than it is actually intended. Although the underlying mechanism of this underestimation is largely unknown, it has been reported that the perceived distances can be relatively easily corrected by having the observer interact with the virtual environment (recalibration), indicating that the underestimation is caused by insufficient information on the environment. In this study, the perception of distances and perception of sizes of objects in the same virtual space are investigated. Participants wore a head-mounted display with head-motion tracking. The virtual scene was a simple rectangular room with no texture on the walls, floor, or ceiling. Perceived distances to target markers presented at pseudo-random locations on the floor were measured by a blind throwing method. A pole-like object, horizontally floating in space, was then presented, and the size was measured by asking the participant to compare it with the real pole in their hands. The thickness of the virtual pole was randomly changed to prevent it from being a cue. Although throwing is thought to be a weak interaction with the environment, the perceived distances gradually became closer to the correct distances. The perceived object sizes also became closer to the correct lengths, but the rates of the recalibration were not equal. Results indicate perception of distances and perception of object sizes are not very tightly connected although they share the same 3-dimensional space.

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