Cognitive transfer of spatial awareness states from immersive virtual environments to reality.

Mania, K. and Badariah, S. and Coxon, M and Watten, P. (2010) Cognitive transfer of spatial awareness states from immersive virtual environments to reality. ACM Transactions on Applied Perception, 7 (2).

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An individual's prior experience will influence how new visual information in a scene is perceived and remembered. Accuracy of memory performance per se is an imperfect reflection of the cognitive activity (awareness states) that underlies performance in memory tasks. The aim of this research is to investigate the effect of varied visual fidelity of training environments on the transfer of training to the real-world after exposure to immersive simulations representing a real-world scene. A between groups experiment was carried out to explore the effect of rendering quality on measurements of location-based recognition memory for objects and associated states of awareness. The immersive simulation, consisted of one room that was either rendered flat-shaded or using radiosity rendering. The simulation was displayed on a stereo head-tracked Head Mounted Display. Post exposure to the synthetic simulation, participants completed a memory recognition task conducted in a real-world scene by physically arranging objects in their physical form in a real world room. Participants also reported one of four states of awareness following object recognition. They were given several options of awareness states that reflected the level of visual mental imagery involved during retrieval, the familiarity of the recollection and related guesses. The scene incorporated objects that 'fitted' into the specific context of the real-world scene, referred to as consistent objects, and objects which were not related to the specific context of the real-world scene, referred to as inconsistent objects. A follow-up study was conducted a week after the initial test. Interestingly, results revealed a higher proportion of correct object recognition associated with mental imagery when participants were exposed to low fidelity flat-shaded training scenes rather than the radiosity rendered ones. Memory psychology indicates that awareness states based on visual imagery require stronger attentional processing in the first instance than those based on familiarity. A tentative claim would therefore be that those immersive environments that are distinctive because of their variation from 'real', such as flat-shaded environments, recruit stronger attentional resources. This additional attentional processing may bring about a change in participants' subjective experiences of 'remembering' when they later transfer the training from that environment into a real-world situation.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: 10.1145/1670671.1670673
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
School/Department: School of Psychological & Social Sciences
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/879

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