Jennifer Day, Tanner Pearson, Brent Hickey



Winter & Spring 2015; 5 months



Unity Programmer; Research, Experiment Facilitator


Dr. Davidenko's High Level Perception Lab, University of California, Santa Cruz 

As an undergraduate research assistant, I collaborated with a team coding in Unity & creating assets in Blender to run virtual reality experiments with the Oculus Rift. We studied various visual perceptual phenomenon including orientation effects, depth perception, and immersion.


Embodiment & Immersion In Virtual Reality

Measuring immersion in VR as a factor of embodiment within the scenario:

  • Looking at different controller types and categorizing them by level of embodiment
  • Using a task to measure accuracy with each type of controller
  • Surveying the participants to find levels of immersion within the study


Leap Motion vs Controller Experiment

Hypothesis: Participants using the leap motion controller will show higher immersion scores (based on immersion scales by Jennett et al.) than a standard mouse. Time perception may correllate with immersion scores when comparing responses to participants' actual times vs how much time they believed passed. 

Note: For the accuracy portion of the scale, participants may not show higher accuracy due to handling of leap motion controller.


Binocular Rivalry

Using virtual reality to simulate dominance in one eye or the other:

  • Binocular rivalry is when two different scenes/objects are projected to each eye, and this creates a perception of switching dominance between the two eyes
  • HMD's allow for the viewing of different images in each eye without colored filters
  • New methodology in studying binocular rivalry


Shepards Table Illusion in Virtual Reality Study

Replicating the shepards table illusion to see if there is a difference in virtual reality vs 2D:

  • The illusion shows images of two tables, where one table seems longer and thinner, even though it is actually identical to the other. Psychology Concepts
  • Depth perception utilizing VR may reveal further insights behind the illusion