Several studies from different research groups investigating perception of absolute, egocentric distances in virtual environments have reported a compression of the intended size of the virtual space. One potential explanation for the compression is that inaccuracies and cue conflicts involving stereo viewing conditions in head mounted displays result in an inaccurate absolute scaling of the virtual world. We manipulate stereo viewing conditions in a head mounted display and show the effects of using both measured and fixed inter-pupilary distances, as well as bi-ocular and monocular viewing of graphics, on absolute distance judgments. Our results indicate that the amount of compression of distance judgments is unaffected by these manipulations. The equivalent performance with stereo, bi-ocular, and monocular viewing suggests that the limitations on the presentation of stereo imagery that are inherent in head mounted displays are likely not the source of distance compression reported in previous virtual environment studies. © 2008 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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