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Combining cues to judge distance and direction in an immersive virtual reality environment

Scarfe, P. ORCID: and Glennerster, A. ORCID: (2021) Combining cues to judge distance and direction in an immersive virtual reality environment. Journal of Vision, 21 (10). ISSN 1534-7362

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1167/jov.21.4.10


When we move, the visual direction of objects in the environment can change substantially. Compared to our understanding of depth perception, the problem the visual system faces in computing this change is relatively poorly understood. Here, we tested the extent to which participants’ judgements of visual direction could be predicted by standard cue combination rules. Participants were tested in virtual reality using a head mounted display. In a simulated room, they judged the position of an object at one location, before walking to another location in the room and judging, in a second interval, whether an object was at the expected visual direction of the first. By manipulating the scale of the room across intervals, which was subjectively invisible to observers, we put two classes of cue into conflict, one that depends only on visual information and one that uses proprioceptive information to scale any reconstruction of the scene. We find that the sensitivity to changes in one class of cue while keeping the other constant provides a good prediction of performance when both cues vary, consistent with the standard cue-combination framework. Nevertheless, by comparing judgments of visual direction to those of distance, we show that judgements of visual direction and distance are mutually inconsistent. We discuss why there is no need for any contradiction between these two conclusions.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
ID Code:96362
Publisher:Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)


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