Rescaling of Perceived Space Transfers Across Virtual Environments

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Research over the past 20 years has consistently shown that egocentric distance is underperceived in virtual environments (VEs) compared with real environments. In 2 experiments, judgments of object distance (Experiment 1) and object size (Experiment 2) improved after a brief period of walking through the VE with continuous visual feedback. Whereas improvement of blind-walking distance judgments could be attributable to recalibration of walking, improvement in perceived size is considered evidence for rescaling of perceived space, whereby perceived size and distance increased after walking interaction. Furthermore, improvements in judged distance and size transferred to a new VE. Distance judgments, but not size judgments, continued to improve after additional walking interaction in the new VE. These results have theoretical implications regarding the effects of walking interaction on perceived space, and practical implications regarding methods of improving perceived distance in VEs.

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