Changes in bodily awareness induced by immersive virtual reality

C. D. Murray, M. S. Gordon

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The recent proliferation of virtual reality technology has attracted the interest of social scientists who study human behavior and perceptual experience. Such computer simulations are able to present technologically rendered environments, where the properties of the physical world are approximated or manipulated to varying degrees. The present study sought to investigate the influence of an immersive virtual experience on the perceptual awareness of the body. A body awareness questionnaire was administered to users of a desktop and an immersive implementation of a virtual environment (the Cityscape). The results indicated a significant main effect for the mode of presentation (i.e., desktop or immersive), no gender effects, and no interaction effect between gender and the mode of presentation. Test of between-subjects effects for the mode of presentation found significant differences on a number of body awareness dimensions. The desktop group were found to experience higher levels of skin, muscular, and cardiovascular awareness, while the immersive group experienced higher levels of body boundary ambiguity and aural awareness.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)365-371
    Number of pages6
    JournalCyberpsychology and Behavior
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


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