Neural correlate of spatial presence in an arousing and noninteractive virtual reality: an EEG and psychophysiology study

Baumgartner, Thomas; Valko, Lilian; Esslen, Michaela; Jäncke, Lutz (2006). Neural correlate of spatial presence in an arousing and noninteractive virtual reality: an EEG and psychophysiology study. Cyberpsychology & behavior : the impact of the Internet, multimedia and virtual reality on behavior and society, 9(1), pp. 30-45. 10.1089/cpb.2006.9.30

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Using electroencephalography (EEG), psychophysiology, and psychometric measures, this is the first study which investigated the neurophysiological underpinnings of spatial presence. Spatial presence is considered a sense of being physically situated within a spatial environment portrayed by a medium (e.g., television, virtual reality). Twelve healthy children and 11 healthy adolescents were watching different virtual roller coaster scenarios. During a control session, the roller coaster cab drove through a horizontal roundabout track. The following realistic roller coaster rides consisted of spectacular ups, downs, and loops. Low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (LORETA) and event-related desynchronization (ERD) were used to analyze the EEG data. As expected, we found that, compared to the control condition, experiencing a virtual roller coaster ride evoked in both groups strong SP experiences, increased electrodermal reactions, and activations in parietal brain areas known to be involved in spatial navigation. In addition, brain areas that receive homeostatic afferents from somatic and visceral sensations of the body were strongly activated. Most interesting, children (as compared to adolescents) reported higher spatial presence experiences and demonstrated a different frontal activation pattern. While adolescents showed increased activation in prefrontal areas known to be involved in the control of executive functions, children demonstrated a decreased activity in these brain regions. Interestingly, recent neuroanatomical and neurophysiological studies have shown that the frontal brain continues to develop to adult status well into adolescence. Thus, the result of our study implies that the increased spatial presence experience in children may result from the not fully developed control functions of the frontal cortex.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Social Psychology and Social Neuroscience

UniBE Contributor:

Baumgartner, Thomas

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

1094-9313

Language:

English

Submitter:

Thomas Baumgartner

Date Deposited:

17 Oct 2014 09:16

Last Modified:

09 Dec 2014 14:12

Publisher DOI:

10.1089/cpb.2006.9.30

PubMed ID:

16497116

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.58311

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/58311

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