Object location memory error in virtual and real environments

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PubDate: April 2017

Teams: University College London

Writers: Mengxin Xu; María Murcia-López; Anthony Steed

PDF: Object location memory error in virtual and real environments


We aim to further explore the transfer of spatial knowledge from virtual to real spaces. Based on previous research on spatial memory in immersive virtual reality (VR) we ran a study that looked at the effect of three locomotion techniques (joystick, pointing-and-teleporting and walking-in-place) on object location learning and recall. Participants were asked to learn the location of a virtual object in a virtual environment (VE). After a short period of time they were asked to recall the location by placing a real version of the object in the real-world equivalent environment. Results indicate that the average placement error, or distance between original and recalled object location, is approximately 20cm for all locomotion technique conditions. This result is similar to the outcome of a previous study on spatial memory in VEs that used real walking. We report this unexpected finding and suggest further work on spatial memory in VR by recommending the replication of this study in different environments and using objects with a wider diversity of properties, including varying sizes and shapes.

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