The Effects of Visual Realism on Spatial Memory and Exploration Patterns in Virtual Reality

Jiawei Huang, Alexander Klippel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Understanding the effects of environmental features such as visual realism on spatial memory can inform a human-centered design of virtual environments. This paper investigates the effects of visual realism on object location memory in virtual reality, taking account of individual differences, gaze, and locomotion. Participants freely explored two environments which varied in visual realism, and then recalled the locations of objects by returning the misplaced objects back to original locations. Overall, we did not find a significant relationship between visual realism and object location memory. We found, however, that individual differences such as spatial ability and gender accounted for more variance than visual realism. Gaze and locomotion analysis suggest that participants exhibited longer gaze duration and more clustered movement patterns in the low realism condition. Preliminary inspection further found that locomotion hotspots coincided with objects that showed a significant gaze time difference between high and low visual realism levels. These results suggest that high visual realism still provides positive spatial learning affordances but the effects are more intricate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - VRST 2020
Subtitle of host publicationACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology
EditorsStephen N. Spencer
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450376198
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020
Event26th ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology, VRST 2020 - Virtual, Online, Canada
Duration: Nov 1 2020Nov 4 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology, VRST

Conference

Conference26th ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology, VRST 2020
CountryCanada
CityVirtual, Online
Period11/1/2011/4/20

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software

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