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

Baumgartner, T. and Valko, L. and Esslen, M. and Jancke, L.. (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, Multi-Media & virtual reality on behavior & society, Vol. 9, H. 1. pp. 30-45.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5842593

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Abstract

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.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Ehemalige Einheiten Psychologie > Social and Affective Neuroscience (Knoch)
UniBasel Contributors:Baumgartner, Thomas
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Mary Ann Liebert
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Last Modified:14 Sep 2012 07:19
Deposited On:14 Sep 2012 06:53

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