Effect of avatars and viewpoints on performance in virtual world: efficiency vs. telepresence

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An increasing number of our interactions are mediated through e-technologies. In order to enhance the human's feeling ofpresence into these virtual environments, also known as telepresence, the individual is usually embodied into an avatar.The natural adaptation capabilities, underlain by the plasticity of the body schema, of the human being make a bodyownership of the avatar possible, in which the user feels more like his/her virtual alter ego than himself/herself. However,this phenomenon only occurs under specific conditions. Two experiments are designed to study the human's feeling andperformance according to a scale of natural relationship between the participant and the avatar. In both experiments, thehuman-avatar interaction is carried out by a Natural User Interface (NUI) and the individual's performance is assessedthrough a behavioural index, based on the concept of affordances, and a questionnaire of presence The first experimentshows that the feeling of telepresence and ownership seem to be greater when the avatar's kinematics and proportions areclose to those of the user. However, the efficiency to complete the task is higher for a more mechanical and stereotypicalavatar. The second experiment shows that the manipulation of the viewpoint induces a similar difference across thesessions. Results are discussed in terms of the neurobehavioral processes underlying performance in virtual worlds, whichseem to be based on ownership when the virtual artefact ensures a preservation of sensorimotor contingencies, and simplegeometrical mapping when the conditions become more artificial.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)e4
JournalEAI Endorsed Transactions on Creative Technologies
Issue numberNA
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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