This article reports two human experiments to investigate the effects of visual cues and sustained attention on spatial presence over a period of prolonged exposure in virtual environments. Inspired by the two functional subsystems subserving spatial and object vision in the human brain, visual cues and sustained attention were each classified into spatial and object cues, and spatial and non-spatial attention, respectively. In the first experiment, the effects of visual cues on spatial presence were examined when subjects were exposed to virtual environments configured with combinations of spatial and object cues. It was found that both types of visual cues enhanced spatial presence with saturation over a period of prolonged exposure, but the contribution of spatial cues became more relevant with longer exposure time. In the second experiment, subjects were asked to carry out two tasks involving sustained spatial attention and sustained non-spatial attention. We observed that spatially directed attention improved spatial presence more than non-spatially directed attention did. Furthermore, spatial attention had a positive interaction with detailed object cues.
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