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Step synchronization and third person speed perception in virtual environment locomotion simulators

Lehtinen, S and Cheung, C and Pelah, A and Cameron, J and Lasenby, J (2009) Step synchronization and third person speed perception in virtual environment locomotion simulators. Proceedings - APGV 2009: Symposium on Applied Perception in Graphics and Visualization. 135-.

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Human locomotion is known to be influenced by observation of another person's gait. For example, athletes often synchronize their step in long distance races. However, how interaction with a virtual runner affects the gait of a real runner has not been studied. We investigated this by creating an illusion of running behind a virtual model (VM) using a treadmill and large screen virtual environment showing a video of a VM. We looked at step synchronization between the real and virtual runner and at the role of the step frequency (SF) in the real runner's perception of VM speed. We found that subjects match VM SF when asked to match VM speed with their own (Figure 1). This indicates step synchronization may be a strategy of speed matching or speed perception. Subjects chose higher speeds when VMSF was higher (though VM was 12km/h in all videos). This effect was more pronounced when the speed estimate was rated verbally while standing still. (Figure 2). This may due to correlated physical activity affecting the perception of VM speed [Jacobs et al. 2005]; or step synchronization altering the subjects' perception of self speed [Durgin et al. 2007]. Our findings indicate that third person activity in a collaborative virtual locomotive environment can have a pronounced effect on an observer's gait activity and their perceptual judgments of the activity of others: the SF of others (virtual or real) can potentially influence one's perception of self speed and lead to changes in speed and SF. A better understanding of the underlying mechanisms would support the design of more compelling virtual trainers and may be instructive for competitive athletics in the real world. © 2009 ACM.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Div F > Signal Processing and Communications
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:47
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2021 14:28
DOI: 10.1145/1620993.1621029