Attention and Social Cognition in Virtual Reality: The effect of engagement mode and character eye-gaze

Brendan Rooney, Katalin Bálint, Thomas Parsons, Colin Burke, T O'Leary, C.T. Lee, C. Mantei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

409 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Technical developments in virtual humans are manifest in modern character design. Specifically, eye gaze offers a significant aspect of such design.
There is need to consider the contribution of participant control of engagement. In the current study, we manipulated participants’ engagement with an interactive virtual reality narrative called Coffee without Words. Participants sat over coffee opposite a character in a virtual café, where they waited for their bus to be repaired. We manipulated character eye-contact with the participant. For half the participants in each condition, the character made no eye-contact for the duration of the story. For the other half, the character responded to participant eye-gaze by making and holding eye contact in return. To explore how participant engagement interacted with this manipulation, half the participants in each condition were instructed to appraise their experience as an artefact (i.e., drawing attention to technical features), while the other half were introduced to the fictional character, the narrative, and the setting as though they were real. This study allowed us to explore the contributions of character features (interactivity through eye-gaze) and cognition (attention/engagement) to the participants’ perception of realism, feelings of presence, time duration, and the extent to which they engaged with the character and represented their mental states (Theory of Mind). Importantly it does so using a highly controlled yet ecologically valid virtual experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-87
Number of pages5
JournalAnnual Review of CyberTherapy and Telemedicine
Volume15
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Fingerprint

Coffee
Virtual reality
Theory of Mind
Motor Vehicles
Artifacts

Keywords

  • social cognition
  • theory of mind
  • cognition
  • virtual reality
  • attention

Cite this

Rooney, B., Bálint, K., Parsons, T., Burke, C., O'Leary, T., Lee, C. T., & Mantei, C. (2017). Attention and Social Cognition in Virtual Reality: The effect of engagement mode and character eye-gaze. Annual Review of CyberTherapy and Telemedicine, 15, 82-87.
Rooney, Brendan ; Bálint, Katalin ; Parsons, Thomas ; Burke, Colin ; O'Leary, T ; Lee, C.T. ; Mantei, C. . / Attention and Social Cognition in Virtual Reality : The effect of engagement mode and character eye-gaze. In: Annual Review of CyberTherapy and Telemedicine. 2017 ; Vol. 15. pp. 82-87.
@article{8e0d73e32926494f904ad2e7b3c9d695,
title = "Attention and Social Cognition in Virtual Reality: The effect of engagement mode and character eye-gaze",
abstract = "Technical developments in virtual humans are manifest in modern character design. Specifically, eye gaze offers a significant aspect of such design.There is need to consider the contribution of participant control of engagement. In the current study, we manipulated participants’ engagement with an interactive virtual reality narrative called Coffee without Words. Participants sat over coffee opposite a character in a virtual caf{\'e}, where they waited for their bus to be repaired. We manipulated character eye-contact with the participant. For half the participants in each condition, the character made no eye-contact for the duration of the story. For the other half, the character responded to participant eye-gaze by making and holding eye contact in return. To explore how participant engagement interacted with this manipulation, half the participants in each condition were instructed to appraise their experience as an artefact (i.e., drawing attention to technical features), while the other half were introduced to the fictional character, the narrative, and the setting as though they were real. This study allowed us to explore the contributions of character features (interactivity through eye-gaze) and cognition (attention/engagement) to the participants’ perception of realism, feelings of presence, time duration, and the extent to which they engaged with the character and represented their mental states (Theory of Mind). Importantly it does so using a highly controlled yet ecologically valid virtual experience.",
keywords = "social cognition, theory of mind, cognition, virtual reality, attention",
author = "Brendan Rooney and Katalin B{\'a}lint and Thomas Parsons and Colin Burke and T O'Leary and C.T. Lee and C. Mantei",
year = "2017",
language = "English",
volume = "15",
pages = "82--87",
journal = "Annual Review of CyberTherapy and Telemedicine",
issn = "1554-8716",
publisher = "Virtual Reality Medical Institute",

}

Rooney, B, Bálint, K, Parsons, T, Burke, C, O'Leary, T, Lee, CT & Mantei, C 2017, 'Attention and Social Cognition in Virtual Reality: The effect of engagement mode and character eye-gaze', Annual Review of CyberTherapy and Telemedicine, vol. 15, pp. 82-87.

Attention and Social Cognition in Virtual Reality : The effect of engagement mode and character eye-gaze. / Rooney, Brendan; Bálint, Katalin; Parsons, Thomas; Burke, Colin; O'Leary, T; Lee, C.T. ; Mantei, C. .

In: Annual Review of CyberTherapy and Telemedicine, Vol. 15, 2017, p. 82-87.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Attention and Social Cognition in Virtual Reality

T2 - The effect of engagement mode and character eye-gaze

AU - Rooney, Brendan

AU - Bálint, Katalin

AU - Parsons, Thomas

AU - Burke, Colin

AU - O'Leary, T

AU - Lee, C.T.

AU - Mantei, C.

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - Technical developments in virtual humans are manifest in modern character design. Specifically, eye gaze offers a significant aspect of such design.There is need to consider the contribution of participant control of engagement. In the current study, we manipulated participants’ engagement with an interactive virtual reality narrative called Coffee without Words. Participants sat over coffee opposite a character in a virtual café, where they waited for their bus to be repaired. We manipulated character eye-contact with the participant. For half the participants in each condition, the character made no eye-contact for the duration of the story. For the other half, the character responded to participant eye-gaze by making and holding eye contact in return. To explore how participant engagement interacted with this manipulation, half the participants in each condition were instructed to appraise their experience as an artefact (i.e., drawing attention to technical features), while the other half were introduced to the fictional character, the narrative, and the setting as though they were real. This study allowed us to explore the contributions of character features (interactivity through eye-gaze) and cognition (attention/engagement) to the participants’ perception of realism, feelings of presence, time duration, and the extent to which they engaged with the character and represented their mental states (Theory of Mind). Importantly it does so using a highly controlled yet ecologically valid virtual experience.

AB - Technical developments in virtual humans are manifest in modern character design. Specifically, eye gaze offers a significant aspect of such design.There is need to consider the contribution of participant control of engagement. In the current study, we manipulated participants’ engagement with an interactive virtual reality narrative called Coffee without Words. Participants sat over coffee opposite a character in a virtual café, where they waited for their bus to be repaired. We manipulated character eye-contact with the participant. For half the participants in each condition, the character made no eye-contact for the duration of the story. For the other half, the character responded to participant eye-gaze by making and holding eye contact in return. To explore how participant engagement interacted with this manipulation, half the participants in each condition were instructed to appraise their experience as an artefact (i.e., drawing attention to technical features), while the other half were introduced to the fictional character, the narrative, and the setting as though they were real. This study allowed us to explore the contributions of character features (interactivity through eye-gaze) and cognition (attention/engagement) to the participants’ perception of realism, feelings of presence, time duration, and the extent to which they engaged with the character and represented their mental states (Theory of Mind). Importantly it does so using a highly controlled yet ecologically valid virtual experience.

KW - social cognition

KW - theory of mind

KW - cognition

KW - virtual reality

KW - attention

M3 - Article

VL - 15

SP - 82

EP - 87

JO - Annual Review of CyberTherapy and Telemedicine

JF - Annual Review of CyberTherapy and Telemedicine

SN - 1554-8716

ER -