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A virtual reality study investigating the train illusion
journal contributionposted on 2023-04-20, 05:44 authored by Lars KooijmanLars Kooijman, Houshyar AsadiHoushyar Asadi, Shady MohamedShady Mohamed, Saeid Nahavandi
The feeling of self-movement that occurs in the absence of physical motion is often referred to as vection, which is commonly exemplified using the train illusion analogy (TIA). Limited research exists on whether the TIA accurately exemplifies the experience of vection in virtual environments (VEs). Few studies complemented their vection research with participants' qualitative feedback or by recording physiological responses, and most studies used stimuli that contextually differed from the TIA. We investigated whether vection is experienced differently in a VE replicating the TIA compared to a VE depicting optic flow by recording subjective and physiological responses. Additionally, we explored participants' experience through an open question survey. We expected the TIA environment to induce enhanced vection compared to the optic flow environment. Twenty-nine participants were visually and audibly immersed in VEs that either depicted optic flow or replicated the TIA. Results showed optic flow elicited more compelling vection than the TIA environment and no consistent physiological correlates to vection were identified. The post-experiment survey revealed discrepancies between participants' quantitative and qualitative feedback. Although the dynamic content may outweigh the ecological relevance of the stimuli, it was concluded that more qualitative research is needed to understand participants' vection experience in VEs.