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Multisensory Effects on Illusory Self-Motion (Vection): the Role of Visual, Auditory, and Tactile Cues

In: Multisensory Research
Authors:
Brandy Murovec KITE, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute–University Health Network, Toronto, ON M5G 2A2, Canada
Department of Psychology, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8128-3123
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Julia Spaniol Department of Psychology, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada

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Jennifer L. Campos KITE, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute–University Health Network, Toronto, ON M5G 2A2, Canada
Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3G3, Canada

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7054-3946
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Behrang Keshavarz KITE, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute–University Health Network, Toronto, ON M5G 2A2, Canada
Department of Psychology, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7763-5325
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Abstract

A critical component to many immersive experiences in virtual reality (VR) is vection, defined as the illusion of self-motion. Traditionally, vection has been described as a visual phenomenon, but more recent research suggests that vection can be influenced by a variety of senses. The goal of the present study was to investigate the role of multisensory cues on vection by manipulating the availability of visual, auditory, and tactile stimuli in a VR setting. To achieve this, 24 adults (Mage = 25.04) were presented with a rotating stimulus aimed to induce circular vection. All participants completed trials that included a single sensory cue, a combination of two cues, or all three cues presented together. The size of the field of view (FOV) was manipulated across four levels (no-visuals, small, medium, full). Participants rated vection intensity and duration verbally after each trial. Results showed that all three sensory cues induced vection when presented in isolation, with visual cues eliciting the highest intensity and longest duration. The presence of auditory and tactile cues further increased vection intensity and duration compared to conditions where these cues were not presented. These findings support the idea that vection can be induced via multiple types of sensory inputs and can be intensified when multiple sensory inputs are combined.

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