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Perception of the size of self and the surrounding visual world in immersive virtual environments

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2011
Issue numberECVP Abstract Supplement
Number of pages2
Pages (from-to)209-210
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish


Newer technology allows for more realistic virtual environments by providing visual image quality that is very similar to that in the real world, this includes adding in virtual self-animated avatars [Slater et al, 2010 PLoS ONE 5(5); Sanchez-Vives et al, 2010 PLoS ONE 5(4)]. To investigate the influence of relative size changes between the visual environment and the visual body, we immersed participants into a full cue virtual environment where they viewed a self-animated avatar from behind and at the same eye-height as the avatar. We systematically manipulated the size of the avatar and the size of the virtual room (which included familiar objects). Both before and after exposure to the virtual room and body, participants performed an action-based measurement and made verbal estimates about the size of self and the world. Additionally we measured their subjective sense of body ownership. The results indicate that the size of the self-representing avatar can change how the user perceives and interacts within the virtual environment. These results have implications for scientists interested in visual space perception and also could potentially be useful for creating positive visual illusions (ie the feeling of being in a more spacious room).