Foreman N P, 2006, "Acquiring information from virtual environments: Perceptual and spatial issues" Perception 35 ECVP Abstract Supplement
Acquiring information from virtual environments: Perceptual and spatial issues
N P Foreman
Virtual environments (VEs) have been used in a variety of forms (desktop, immersion, wide screen projection) to allow training and visualisation while a participant is immersed in a virtual world. Clearly, there are many perceptual-cognitive differences between virtual images and interactivity compared with real-world equivalent experiences. However, VEs have proved useful for many practical applications. Spatial research has especially benefited, since spatial information acquired from virtual experience (even when provided on desktop monitors) is comparable to that obtained from real equivalent experience. Where disorientation has been reported in VEs, this may be due to distance underestimation effects. Studies are reviewed in which children, adults, and older adults have been trained and assessed in VEs in wayfinding and survey tasks. The special perceptual considerations that apply to VE use by older participants are discussed. The future of VEs in spatial training and assessment is evaluated.
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