Body Weight Perception of Females using Photorealistic Avatars in Virtual and Augmented Reality

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PubDate: December 2020

Teams: University of Würzburg;TU Dortmund University

Writers: Erik Wolf; Nina Döllinger; David Mal; Carolin Wienrich; Mario Botsch; Marc Erich Latoschik

PDF: Body Weight Perception of Females using Photorealistic Avatars in Virtual and Augmented Reality

Abstract

The appearance of avatars can potentially alter changes in their users’ perception and behavior. Based on this finding, approaches to support the therapy of body perception disturbances in eating or body weight disorders by mixed reality (MR) systems gain in importance. However, the methodological heterogeneity of previous research has made it difficult to assess the suitability of different MR systems for therapeutic use in these areas. The effects of MR system properties and related psychometric factors on body-related perceptions have so far remained unclear. We developed an interactive virtual mirror embodiment application to investigate the differences between an augmented reality see-through head-mounted-display (HMD) and a virtual reality HMD on the before-mentioned factors. Additionally, we considered the influence of the participant’s body-mass-index (BMI) and the BMI difference between participants and their avatars on the estimations. The 54 normal-weight female participants significantly underestimated the weight of their photorealistic, generic avatar in both conditions. Body weight estimations were significantly predicted by the participants’ BMI and the BMI difference. We also observed partially significant differences in presence and tendencies for differences in virtual body ownership between the systems. Our results offer new insights into the relationships of body weight perception in different MR environments and provide new perspectives for the development of therapeutic applications. Index Terms: Human-centered computing-Human computer interaction (HCI)-Empirical studies in HCI; Human-centered computing-Human computer interaction (HCI)-Mixed / augmented reality; Human-centered computing-Human computer interaction (HCI)-Virtual reality.

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