The way our senses adjust while playing virtual reality (VR) games affects the severity of cybersickness experienced

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Virtual reality (VR) has emerged as an exciting and rapidly expanding field in recent years, offering users an immersive and interactive experience in a simulated environment.

Despite the numerous benefits of VR technology, one of the most common drawbacks is cybersickness, which refers to a range of symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, and disorientation that are experienced by users after prolonged exposure to virtual environments.

While the underlying causes of cybersickness are not yet fully understood, recent research has suggested that the subjective visual vertical (SVV) may play an important role in its development. This paper aims to explore the relationship between the SVV and cybersickness susceptibility and discuss its implications for the development of personalized cybersickness mitigation strategies and VR experiences.

The Subjective Visual Vertical

The SVV is defined as the angle at which a subject perceives a luminous line to be vertical in the absence of other visual cues, and it is used to assess the subject’s sense of orientation in space. The SVV is thought to be influenced by a variety of sensory inputs, including visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive cues. Studies have shown that the SVV can be altered by a variety of factors, including exposure to microgravity, head tilt, and the use of virtual environments.

SVV and Virtual Reality Research has shown that exposure to virtual environments can significantly affect the SVV. A study by Péruch et al. (2018) found that exposure to a VR environment led to a significant shift in the SVV, with subjects perceiving the vertical line as tilted towards the direction of the virtual environment. Another study by Keshavarz et al. (2015) found that exposure to a virtual environment with conflicting visual and vestibular cues led to a larger shift in the SVV compared to exposure to a real-world environment with the same visual and vestibular cues.

SVV and Cybersickness Susceptibility

The SVV is defined as the angle at which a subject perceives a luminous line to be vertical in the absence of other visual cues, and it is used to assess the subject’s sense of orientation in space. The SVV is influenced by a variety of sensory inputs, including visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive cues. Studies have shown that the SVV can be altered by various factors, including exposure to microgravity, head tilt, and the use of virtual environments.

Recent research has suggested that the SVV may be related to cybersickness susceptibility. A study by Wibral et al. (2020) found that participants who experienced less cybersickness after exposure to a VR environment had a larger shift in the SVV compared to those who experienced more cybersickness. The authors suggest that this may be due to the fact that individuals who are more susceptible to cybersickness have a weaker ability to adapt to the sensory reweighting that occurs in virtual environments.

The sensory reweighting hypothesis proposes that the central nervous system recalibrates its sensory weighting mechanisms in response to the sensory inputs encountered in a particular environment. This recalibration is thought to be necessary for the individual to maintain a stable sense of orientation and balance.

In virtual environments, sensory reweighting occurs due to the discrepancy between the visual cues presented in the virtual environment and the lack of corresponding vestibular and proprioceptive cues. This mismatch between sensory inputs can cause confusion and disorientation, leading to cybersickness symptoms. Individuals who are more susceptible to cybersickness may have a weaker ability to adapt to this sensory reweighting, leading to a larger discrepancy between the perceived and actual SVV and an increased risk of cybersickness symptoms.

The relationship between the SVV and cybersickness susceptibility has important implications for the development of personalized cybersickness mitigation strategies and VR experiences. By assessing an individual’s SVV before and after exposure to a virtual environment, it may be possible to predict their susceptibility to cybersickness and develop personalized mitigation strategies to minimize the severity of symptoms.

For example, individuals who are more susceptible to cybersickness may benefit from exposure to virtual environments with less intense visual stimuli or a gradual increase in exposure time. In addition, the development of VR experiences that take into account an individual’s SVV and sensory reweighting abilities may help to reduce the incidence and severity of cybersickness.

The potential of personalized cybersickness mitigation strategies is not limited to VR users. For example, individuals who experience motion sickness during air or sea travel may benefit from an assessment of their SVV and the development of personalized mitigation strategies. This approach may also have applications in the development of rehabilitation interventions for individuals with vestibular disorders.

Conclusion

The SVV is a valuable tool for assessing an individual’s sense of orientation in space and is affected by exposure to virtual environments. Recent research has suggested that the SVV may be related to cybersickness susceptibility, with individuals who experience less cybersickness having a larger shift in the SVV following exposure to a virtual environment.

Understanding the relationship between the SVV and cybersickness susceptibility has important implications for the development of personalized cybersickness mitigation strategies and VR experiences. By taking into account an individual’s SVV and sensory reweighting abilities, it may be possible to reduce the incidence and

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