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  • Titill er á ensku Visual Attention and Foraging in Virtual Reality
  • Bakkalár
  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    Foraging studies originate from naturalistic experiments of animals, foraging for food. In the human literature computerized tasks where observers forage for targets on a two-dimensional screen have been prevalent. The real world, however, is not a two-dimensional screen, and we live, breathe and search in a three-dimensional world. Depth has been shown to affect visual search and attention. Yet, studies on human foraging in three-dimensions are few and mostly involve search for a single target, which makes it quite different from the original animal foraging studies. Here we will present preliminary findings from a human foraging study in three-dimensions. In this study, one of the main goals was to use the foraging task in Kristjánsson et al. (2014) as a paradigm to see if we can replicate their ITT and run behaviour patterns in a three-dimensional virtual environment. The second main goal was to examine what effect motion of targets and distractors has on ITT and run behaviour patterns, search organization and orientation. To do this, observers foraged for 50 targets amongst 50 distractors in four different conditions. Targets were distinguished from distractors by either a single feature (feature foraging) or a conjunction of features (conjunction foraging). Further, those conditions were completed both in a static environment (targets and distractors static) and a dynamic environment (targets and distractors moving). The results replicate findings from previous foraging studies in essential aspects such as a stable cruise-phase with end-peaks that are much larger in conjunction than feature foraging, although, there were some key differences such as, a higher number of runs in conjunction foraging than previously seen and the lack of clear mid-peaks in conjunction foraging. Search orientation also differed from previous two-dimensional results where observers orient their visual search to the top-left corner of the visual field, instead, there was a major bias to orient to the bottom-half (97.7%). These differences show the limitations of simplistic and restrictive two-dimensional studies of a construct such as visual attention that has evolved to guide us in a complex three-dimensional world. Motion did not seem to have a major impact on visual search. Namely, it did not affect ITT or run behaviour patterns except for end-peaks, and the current results did not support Cain et al.’s (2014) findings that “reading” behaviour is reduced when the stimuli are moving. These results add to the body of knowledge around visual foraging and cast new light upon visual attention in a more realistic three-dimensional environment where motion is taken into account.

  • 27.5.2019

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