Acquisition of the Width of a Virtual Body through Collision Avoidance Trials

Yoshiaki SAITO  Kazumasa KAWASHIMA  Masahito HIRAKAWA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E104-D    No.5    pp.741-751
Publication Date: 2021/05/01
Publicized: 2021/02/02
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.2020EDP7135
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Human-computer Interaction
body ownership,  embodiment,  body width,  virtual reality,  avoidance behavior,  

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The progress of immersive technology enables researchers and developers to construct work spaces that are freed from real-world constraints. This has motivated us to investigate the role of the human body. In this research, we examine human cognitive behaviors in obtaining an understanding of the width of their virtual body through simple yet meaningful experiments using virtual reality (VR). In the experiments, participants were modeled as an invisible board, and a spherical object was thrown at the participants to provide information for exploring the width of their invisible body. Audio and visual feedback were provided when the object came into contact with the board (body). We first explored how precisely the participants perceived the virtual body width. Next, we examined how the body perception was generated and changed as the trial proceeded when the participants tried to move right or left actively for the avoidance of collision with approaching objects. The results of the experiments indicated that the participants could become successful in avoiding collision within a limited number of trials (14 at most) under the experimental conditions. It was also found that they postponed deciding how much they should move at the beginning and then started taking evasive action earlier as they become aware of the virtual body.

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