Performance of a skilled motor task in virtual and real environments

Paul Arnold, Martin J. Farrell, Steve Pettifer, Adrian J. West

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Three experiments compared the performances of adult participants (three groups of 10) on a perceptuo-motor task in both real world (RW) and virtual environments (VEs). The task involved passing a hoop over a bent wire course, and three versions of the task were used: a 3-D wire course with no background, a flattened version of the 3-D course (2 1/2-D course) with no background, and the 2 1/2-D course with added background to provide spatial context. In all three experiments the participants had to prevent the hoop from touching the wire as they moved it. In the first experiment, the VE condition produced about 18 times more errors than the RW task. The VE 2 1/2-D task was found to be as difficult as the 3-D, and the 2 1/2-D with the added background produced more errors than the other two experiments. Taken together, the experiments demonstrate the difficulty of performing fine motor tasks in VEs, a phenomenon that has not been given due attention in many previous studies of motor control in VEs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)348-361
    Number of pages13
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2002


    • Head mounted display (HMD)
    • Motor skill
    • Real world analogue
    • Virtual environment


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