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Proceedings Paper

Navigating mazes in a virtual environment
Author(s): Roger A. Browse; David B. Skillicorn; Darren Middleman
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Paper Abstract

In this research we are concerned with computer interfaces with which subjects navigate through maze simulations which are essentially buildings, with corridors and intersections, such as frequently encountered in computer games and simulations. We wish to determine if virtual reality interfaces introduce a performance enhancement that might be expected for display configurations which mimic natural perceptual experiences. We have experimented primarily with two display conditions for presentation of and navigation through the mazes. Subjects either view the maze on a desktop computer monitor, turning and moving within the maze with the mouse in a way that is similar to the configurations used in most first-person role playing computer games, or they viewed the maze from a standing position with a head-mounted display, being free to direct the view of the maze through body and head movements, and using the depression of a mouse button to effect movement in the direction that they were facing. Head-tracking was required for this latter condition. As expected there are striking individual differences in subjects’ abilities to learn to traverse the mazes. Across a variety of maze configuration parameters which significantly do influence performance, the results indicate that the virtual reality enhancements have no effect subjects' ability to learn the mazes, either as route knowledge or as cognitive maps.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 June 2003
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5007, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging VIII, (17 June 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.479665
Show Author Affiliations
Roger A. Browse, Queen's Univ. (Canada)
David B. Skillicorn, Queen's Univ. (Canada)
Darren Middleman, Queen's Univ. (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5007:
Human Vision and Electronic Imaging VIII
Bernice E. Rogowitz; Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas, Editor(s)

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