Exploring the Neurocorrelates of Virtual Reality Immersion Using EEG Frequency Decomposition Analysis
1 online resource (79 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Immersion is a psychological state resulting in the sensation of being enveloped in another reality or environment and is commonly experienced while using interactive media such as videogames. The goals of the present thesis project were to (a) test predictions of a recently proposed 3-dimension framework for psychological immersion (Nilsson et al., 2016), and (b) to explore the EEG neural correlates of an immersive experience. In 2 Experiments, participants played a driving simulator game where they drove on racetracks of 2 differing difficulty levels viewed through either a traditional flat computer screen, or a 3D virtual reality (VR) headset. EEG was recorded during the second experiment only. Experiment 1 yielded significantly greater self-reported challenge immersion for VR gameplay versus viewing a virtual room, both while using a 3D VR head-mounted display (VRHMD). Moreover, gameplay with the 3D VRHMD resulted in greater self-reported system/perceptual immersion than with the non-VR (NVR) 2D screen. Experiment 2 replicated the self-report immersion results extended to a 2 (viewing condition, NVR, VR) x 2 (difficulty: easy, medium) factorial design. Experiment 2 also revealed evidence of increased theta (4-8 Hz) amplitude for the 3D VR gameplay sessions versus the 2D screen. Both theta and beta (15-30 Hz) bands showed greater amplitude for 3D VR gameplay when just the first gaming session (i.e., the easier racetrack) was considered. The results were consistent with the prediction of separable dimensions of challenge and system/perceptual immersion. The results are also consistent with a small but growing literature suggesting that increased theta band activity is associated with increased immersion in games, movies, and narratives. However, order of viewing technology played a larger role in the EEG analysis than was anticipated, and gameplay-related motor movements, are a significant challenge to conducting this type of research.
EEGFrequency DecomposiitonImmersionPresenceVirtual Reality
Galati, AlexiaMarkant, Doug
Thesis (M.A.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2020.
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