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Absence of Inertial Load on Hand Decreases Task Performance in Virtual Reality Interaction

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posted on 2023-03-17, 15:20 authored by Min Tang, Xiaoyu Liu, Ying Dong, Zhili Tang, Hongqiang Huo, Linyuan Fan, Xiaofeng Qiao, Duo Chen, Jinghui Wang, Xin Du, Jieyi Guo, Yubo Fan

The inertia of manipulated objects contributes to natural human performance, but its effects on virtual reality (VR) interactions have rarely been investigated. Here, we designed a virtual goal-directed task, in which virtual objects with different masses were moved into a target hole. Based on synchronized kinematic and eye-tracking data, we examined the effects of inertia on participants’ performance during the virtual task in a virtual environment. Our results indicated that hand movements presented greater spatial variability and more discontinuities when the inertial load was removed. It suggested a decline in the ability of motor control and feedback regulation, since the absence of an inertial load weakened the proprioception for sensing limb movements. Eye-movement evidence indicated that increased preferential allocations of visual attention contribute to compensating the weakened proprioceptive cues, supporting the kinematic results. These findings reveal the importance and mechanism of inertial effects on human behaviors in VR interactions.

Funding

This work was supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China [11972066, T2288101, U20A20390, 11827803] and the National Key Research and Development Plan of China [2020YFC2007904].

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