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Jul 08, 2007

Field dependency and the sense of object-presence in haptic virtual environments

Field dependency and the sense of object-presence in haptic virtual environments.

Cyberpsychol Behav. 2007 Apr;10(2):243-51

Authors: Hecht D, Reiner M

Virtual environment (VE) users often report having a sense of being present in the virtual place or a sense that the virtual object is present in their environment. This sense of presence depends on both the technological fidelity (e.g., in graphics, haptics) and the users' cognitive/ personality characteristics. This study examined the correlation between user's cognitive style on the field-dependency dimension and the level of object-presence they reported in a haptic VE. Results indicated that field-independent individuals reported higher presence ratings compared to field-dependent participants. We hypothesize that field-independents' advantage in reorganizing the perceptual field and constructing it according to their previously acquired internal knowledge enables them to cognitively reconstruct the VE experience more efficiently by selectively attending only to the relevant cues and by filling in the gap of missing information with their previous knowledge and creative imagination. This active and creative cognitive process may be behind the enhanced sense of presence. In addition, we raise a possible linkage between field dependency, the sense of presence, and simulator sickness phenomenon.

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