Effects of Presence and Challenge Variations on Emotional Engagement in Immersive Virtual Environments

Oscar I. Caldas, Oscar F. Aviles, Carlos Rodriguez-Guerrero

Onderzoeksoutput: Articlepeer review

8 Citaten (Scopus)


Serious games and immersive virtual reality promote emotional engagement during learning tasks, mostly by providing (1) skill-adapted challenges with performance feedback (for trial and error learning) and (2) enhanced presence (further reactions to multimodal stimuli), respectively. However, it is still unclear how each of these two strategies independently influence emotional states to engage subjects to a task. This study assessed the dimensions of emotion (valence-arousal-dominance) of 87 healthy subjects in a virtual game, assigned to 2 groups that were exposed to a different set of 5 trials: Group A experienced game variations by virtual factors affecting user's presence, whereas group B experienced levels of difficulty, affecting challenge. Emotional reports and 26 features extracted from physiological signals were statistically analyzed. Results showed that presence-based experimental conditions were able to modify the sense of arousal, whereas valence and dominance responded to challenge variation, i.e. were positively correlated with game score. Arousal is likely to increase with low sense of coexistence (social presence) and decrease with low scenario realism (physical presence). Faster breathing and higher skin conductance (SC) were detected at high challenge, whereas heart rate variability and SC increased with higher arousal. The evidence from this study suggests that both strategies can be used to separately influence dimensions of emotion, pointing out the customization of presence-based factors as a promising method to adjust emotional engagement by impacting arousal. Further research should be undertaken to identify the independent effect of single presence factors on emotional states.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1109-1116
Aantal pagina's8
TijdschriftIEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Nummer van het tijdschrift5
StatusPublished - mei 2020

Bibliografische nota

Funding Information:
Manuscript received November 8, 2019; revised March 3, 2020; accepted March 29, 2020. Date of publication April 3, 2020; date of current version May 8, 2020. This work was supported in part by the UMNG’s Research Vice-Rectorate under Grant ING-IMP-2657. (Corresponding author: Oscar I. Caldas.) Oscar I. Caldas is with the Faculty of Engineering, Universidad Militar Nueva Granada, Bogota 110111, Colombia, and also with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 1050 Brussels, Belgium (e-mail: oscar.caldas@unimilitar.edu.co).

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the UMNG's Research Vice-Rectorate under Grant ING-IMP-2657.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2001-2011 IEEE.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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