The relationship between interference control and sense of presence in virtual environments.
Background. The sense of presence is an important aspect of interaction with virtual reality applications. Earlier we suggested that presence can depend on cognitive control. The latter is a set of meta-cognitive processes which are responsible for configuring the cognitive system for the accomplishment of specific tasks with respect to a given context. In particular, cognitive control helps in preventing interference from the task-irrelevant variables.
Objective. is study aimed at investigation of the possible relationship between interference control and aspects of presence.
Design. Thirty-nine subjects (32 female and 7 male, aged 18 to 27 years) participated in the study. The subjects were assessed via a battery of interference control tasks (Flanker Task, Go/No Go task, antisaccade task) and performed a virtual scenario (navigating within an array of randomly placed virtual digits in correct numerical order) in high-immersion (CAVE) and low-immersion (standard computer display) virtual environments. Afterwards, the subjects completed a Russian version of the ITC-Sense of Presence inventory.
Results. We found that interference control is generally related to the sense of presence, especially in the CAVE (high-immersion) environment. Sensory interference control was most strongly associated with various aspects of presence (overall presence score, spatial presence, and emotional involvement). Motor interference control was associated with spatial presence and emotional involvement, but this relationship was weaker than was the case with sensory interference control. Low-immersion virtual environments attenuate some of these links between interference control and presence so that only sensory interference control remains a notable predictor of presence.
Conclusion. Interference control is positively associated with presence in virtual environments with varying immersion levels. is may reflect a more general cause-and-effect relationship between cognitive control and the feeling of presence in virtual reality.
Authors: Velichkovsky, Boris B.
Themes: Cognitive psychology
Keywords: virtual reality, presence, interference, cognitive control, attention, anker task, antisaccade task, Go/No Go task