A Comparative Study of Real and Virtual Environment via Psychological and Physiological Responses

Carmen Llinares

Juan Luis Higuera-Trujillo

Antoni Montañana

Currently, immersive virtual environments (IVE) are widely used in fields such as architecture and environmental psychology. These simulated environments allow for a detailed evaluation of how different designs impact users’ perception and interaction with the built environment, under controlled conditions and without incurring high costs. The validity of these IVEs is related to their capacity to evoke a participant’s response similar to that of the space they are simulating. This paper presents a validation study of a virtual classroom with two phases: the analysis of the sense of presence in the generated IVE and the comparison of the psychological and neurophysiological response of subjects in the two environments (physical vs. IVE). The psychological response captures cognitive processes via the performance of attention and memory tasks. The physiological response records the subject’s activity monitored via electroencephalogram, electrocardiogram, and electrodermal activity. The results showed that the psychological and physiological responses in both environments (physical vs. IVE) were similar. This may be of interest to architecture researchers and professionals as they validate IVE systems as tools to study the effects of the built environment on users’ cognitive responses.

This publication uses EEG, Eye Tracking VR/AR and GSR which is fully integrated into iMotions Lab

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