Human Performance and the Perception of Actions in Immersive Virtual Environments
McManus, Erin Adams
Developing immersive virtual environments that fully mirror the real world means ensuring that the visual stimuli are convincing and accurate and that human performance is unhindered and natural. This work describes two studies that explore human perception and action in virtual reality to aid this development process. The first is an avatar study investigating the effect of adding human characters to a scene in order to improve human performance on three tasks. We find that adding either another character or a self-avatar to a scene does improve performance on visually driven complex tasks. The second study explores human perception of actions, namely underhand throwing, through making judgments on errors added to the trajectories of a thrown ball. We also explore the role of the endpoint of the ball and the importance of visual and motor feedback when making these judgments. We find that there is no difference between a subject's ability to make judgments about errors introduced to the vertical and horizontal initial velocities of the trajectory and that motor or visual feedback alone is sufficient when performing this task.