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Tuning Self-Motion Perception in Virtual Reality with Visual Illusions

, , , and . IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (TVCG), 18, page 1068--1078. (2012)


Motion perception in immersive virtual environments significantly differs from the real world. For example, previous work has shown that users tend to underestimate travel distances in virtual environments (VEs). As a solution to this problem, researchers proposed to scale the mapped virtual camera motion relative to the tracked real-world movement of a user until real and virtual motion are perceived as equal, i. e., real-world movements could be mapped with a larger gain to the VE in order to compensate for the underestimation. However, introducing discrepancies between real and virtual motion can become a problem, in particular, due to misalignments of both worlds and distorted space cognition. In this article we describe a different approach that introduces apparent self-motion illusions by manipulating optic flow fields during movements in VEs. These manipulations can affect self-motion perception in VEs, but omit a quantitative discrepancy between real and virtual motions. In particular, we consider to which regions of the virtual view these apparent self-motion illusions can be applied, i. e., the ground plane or peripheral vision. Therefore, we introduce four illusions and show in experiments that optic flow manipulation can significantly affect users’ self-motion judgments. Furthermore, we show that with such manipulations of optic flow fields the underestimation of travel distances can be compensated.

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