A Neurophysiological Approach for Measuring Presence in Immersive Virtual Environments

Arindam Dey

Jane Phoon

Shuvodeep Saha

Chelsea Dobbins

Mark Billinghurst

Presence, the feeling of being there, is an important factor that affects the overall experience of Virtual Reality (VR). Higher presence commonly provides a better experience in VR than lower presence. However, presence is commonly measured subjectively through postexperience questionnaires, which can suffer from participant biases, dishonest answers, and fatigue. It can also be difficult for subjects to accurately remember their feelings of presence after they have left the VR experience. In this paper, we measured the effects of different levels of presence (high and low) in VR using physiological and neurological signals. The experiment involved 24 participants in a between-subjects design. Results indicated a significant effect of presence on both physiological and neurological signals. We noticed that higher presence results in higher heart rate, less visual stress, higher theta and beta activities in the frontal region, and higher alpha activities in the parietal region. These findings and insights could lead to an alternative objective measure of presence.

(ECG) and galvanic skin response (GSR) sensors and an Emotive Epoc+ EEG headset. Then they put on the HTC Vive headset, with the help of the experimenter to ensure it fit properly together with the EEG headset. The connections were then established between the sensors and the computer, where we ran the iMotions biometric data collection software. Participants used a Logitech G533 wireless gaming headset.

This publication uses ECG, EEG and GSR which is fully integrated into iMotions Lab

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