Dodds T J, Mohler B J, Bülthoff H H, 2010, "Changing our perception of communication in virtual environments" Perception 39 ECVP Abstract Supplement, page 183
Changing our perception of communication in virtual environments
T J Dodds, B J Mohler, H H Bülthoff
When people communicate face-to-face they use gestures and body language that naturally coincide with speech (McNeill, 2007 Gesture & Thought University of Chicago Press). In an immersive virtual environment (VE) we can control both participants visual feedback of self and the other in order to investigate the effect of gestures on a communication task. In our experiment the communication task is to make the listener say a word without the speaker saying the word. We use animated real-time self-avatars in immersive VEs to answer the question: “Does the use of naturalistic gestures help communication in VEs?”. Specifically, we perform a within-subject experiment which investigates the influence of first- and third-person perspectives, and of animated speaker and listener. We find that people significantly perform better in the communication task when both the speaker and listener have an animated self-avatar and when the camera for the speaker shows a third-person perspective. When participants moved more they also performed better in the task. These results suggest that when two people in a VE are animated they do use gestures to communicate. These results demonstrate that in addition to the speaker movements, the listener movements are important for efficient communication in an immersive VE.
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