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Understanding spatial, semantic and temporal influences on audiovisual distance compression in virtual environments

Daniel, Finnegan ORCID:, Petrini, Karin, Proulx, Michael and O'Neill, Eamonn 2022. Understanding spatial, semantic and temporal influences on audiovisual distance compression in virtual environments. [Online]. PsyArXiv. Available at:

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Perception of distance in virtual reality (VR) is compressed; that is, objects and the distance between them and the observer are consistently perceived as closer than intended by the designers of the VR environment. Although well documented, this phenomenon is still not fully understood or defined with respect to the factors influencing such compression. Studies on distance compression typically factor auditory or visual stimuli individually, critically neglecting to study how such stimuli may interact. They also tend to focus on simple static environments involving simple objects that don't move. VR can be -- and at its best should be -- a multisensory experience, involving not only vision but also auditory and potentially other senses. We report a study encompassing 2 experiments exploring spatial, semantic, and temporal factors of congruency in environments -- environments where visual and audio cues do not correlate one-to-one as they would in a physical environment -- on distance compression. Results suggest no impact of semantic association, yet significant effects for temporal and spatial congruence. We discuss the impact of our findings on virtual environment design and implementation.

Item Type: Website Content
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Submitted
Schools: Computer Science & Informatics
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Publisher: PsyArXiv
Date of Acceptance: July 2022
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2023 09:09

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