The effect of motion direction and eccentricity on vection, VR sickness and head movements in virtual reality

Katharina Margareta Theresa Pöhlmann*, Julia Föcker, Patrick Dickinson, Adrian Parke, Louise O'Hare

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Virtual Reality (VR) experienced through head-mounted displays often leads to vection, discomfort and sway in the user. This study investigated the effect of motion direction and eccentricity on these three phenomena using optic flow patterns displayed using the Valve Index. Visual motion stimuli were presented in the centre, periphery or far periphery and moved either in depth (back and forth) or laterally (left and right). Overall vection was stronger for motion in depth compared to lateral motion. Additionally, eccentricity primarily affected stimuli moving in depth with stronger vection for more peripherally presented motion patterns compared to more central ones. Motion direction affected the various aspects of VR sickness differently and modulated the effect of eccentricity on VR sickness. For stimuli moving in depth far peripheral presentation caused more discomfort, whereas for lateral motion the central stimuli caused more discomfort. Stimuli moving in depth led to more head movements in the anterior–posterior direction when the entire visual field was stimulated. Observers demonstrated more head movements in the anterior–posterior direction compared to the medio-lateral direction throughout the entire experiment independent of motion direction or eccentricity of the presented moving stimulus. Head movements were elicited on the same plane as the moving stimulus only for stimuli moving in depth covering the entire visual field. A correlation showed a positive relationship between dizziness and vection duration and between general discomfort and sway. Identifying where in the visual field motion presented to an individual causes the least amount of VR sickness without losing vection and presence can guide development for Virtual Reality games, training and treatment programmes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-662
Number of pages40
JournalMultisensory Research
Volume34
Issue number6
Early online date20 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • visual discomfort
  • VR sickness
  • virtual reality
  • vection
  • head movements
  • optic-flow

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