Many virtual reality (VR) researchers consider exact head registration (HR) and an exact multi-sensory alignment between real world and virtual objects to be a critical factor for effective motor performance in VR. Calibration procedures, however, can be error prone, time consuming and sometimes impractical to perform. To better understand the relationship between head registration and fine motor performance, we conducted a series of reciprocal tapping tasks under four conditions: real world tapping, VR with correct HR, VR with mildly perturbed HR, and VR with highly perturbed HR. As might be expected, VR performance was worse than real world performance. There was no effect of HR perturbation on motor performance in the tapping tasks. We believe that sensorimotor adaptation enabled subjects to perform equally well in the three VR conditions despite the incorrect head registration in two of the conditions. This suggests that exact head registration may not be as critically important as previously thought, and that extensive per-user calibration procedures may not be necessary for some VR tasks.
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