Perception Lab

PerceptionLab includes a stereoscopic projection display, multi-screen setup, virtual reality headsets as well as (neuro)physiological equipment for the study of human perception and performance in virtual environments.

The use of modern technological devices such as smartphones, tablets, or VR systems has become essential to our everyday life. We are constantly exposed to or engage with visual displays and routinely interact with them. For instance, VR systems are no longer a niche product but are becoming highly relevant for rehabilitation, education, training, and research purposes. PerceptionLab was designed to investigate human perception and performance when engaging with visual devices and virtual environments.

The research conducted in PerceptionLab focuses on perceptual phenomena associated with the use of visual devices and virtual environments, such as VR sickness, illusory self-motion (vection), or presence. To investigate these phenomena, PerceptionLab offers a stereoscopic projector, several VR headsets (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, HP Reverb G2), a three-monitor setup as well as modern (neuro)physiological equipment (ANT Neuro EEGO sports, Biopac Nomadix).

Recent Research

PerceptionLab is used to address various research questions, but the main focus lies on perceptual phenomena associated with the use of visual devices and virtual environments. For instance, users of VR systems can often experience unwanted side-effects such as disorientation, drowsiness, headache, or nausea, commonly referred to as visually induced motion sickness or VR sickness. Research conducted in PerceptionLab aims to identify the underlying mechanisms of VR sickness and to find effective mitigation strategies. In addition, research in PerceptionLab investigates related phenomena such as the illusion of self-motion (vection) or the feeling of presence in VR in order to further optimize the user’s VR experience.

Equipment Highlights

PerceptionLab is a temperature-controlled laboratory with black-painted walls and ceiling, providing ideal conditions for perception research. The lab is equipped with various hardware devices that allow to systematically investigate human factors in virtual environments. This includes a stereoscopic projector with a large visual field (3m x 2m), multiple VR headsets (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, HP Reverb G2 Omnicept), and a three-monitor setup with adjustable screens. Neurophysiological equipment including a portable 64-channel electroencephalogram (ANT Neuro EEGO sports) paired with measures of cardiac activity, respiration, gastric activity, skin temperature, and galvanic skin response (Biopac Nomadix) allows to tap into neural and psychophysiological processes associated with various VR phenomena.

Quick Facts

Perception Lab include the following equipment:

  • Large field-of-view screen (3m x 2m) with stereoscopic projection;
  • Various VR headsets including HTC Vive and HP Reverb G2 Omnicept;
  • Adjustable multi-screen setup covering up to 220° of the visual field;
  • Portable 64-channel EEG system (ANT Neuro EEGO Sports) with physiological measures;
  • Biopac Nomadix wireless system including ECG, EGG, EDA, accelerometer, respiration, and skin temperature sensors.

Recent Publications

  • Andrievskaia, P., Berti, S., Spaniol, J., & Keshavarz, B. (2023). Exploring neurophysiological correlates of visually induced motion sickness using electroencephalography (EEG). Experimental Brain Research, 241(10), 2463–2473.
  • Riecke, B. E., Murovec, B., Campos, J. L., Keshavarz, B. (2023). Beyond the Eye: Multisensory Contributions to the Sensation of Illusory Self-Motion (Vection). Multisensory Research. 36(8), 827–864.
  • Keshavarz, B., Umatheva, N., Peck, K. (2023). Investigating the Role of Vection, Presence, and Stress on Visually Induced Motion Sickness. In J. Y. C. Chen & G. Fragomeni (Eds.), Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality (pp. 619–633). Springer Nature Switzerland.
  • Kooijman, L., Berti, S., Asadi, H., Nahavandi, S., Keshavarz, B. (2023). Measuring vection: A review and critical evaluation of different methods for quantifying illusory self-motion. Behavior Research Methods.
  • Keshavarz, B., Peck, K., Rezaei, S., & Taati, B. (2022). Detecting and predicting visually induced motion sickness with physiological measures in combination with machine learning techniques. International Journal of Psychophysiology: Official Journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology, S0167-8760(22)00067-8.
  • D’Amour, S., Harris, L. R., Berti, S., & Keshavarz, B. (2021). The role of cognitive factors and personality traits in the perception of illusory self-motion (vection). Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics.
  • Peck, K., Russo, F., Campos, J. L., & Keshavarz, B. (2020). Examining potential effects of arousal, valence, and likability of music on visually induced motion sickness. Experimental Brain Research, 238(10), 2347–2358.

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