Observing effects of attention on presence with fMRI

Sungkil Lee, Gerard J. Kim, Janghan Lee

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Presence is one of the goals of many virtual reality systems. Historically, in the context of virtual reality, the concept of presence has been associated much with spatial perception (bottom up process) as its informal definition of "feeling of being there" suggests. However, recent studies in presence have challenged this view and attempted to widen the concept to include psychological immersion, thus linking more high level elements (processed in a top down fashion) to presence such as story and plots, flow, attention and focus, identification with the characters, emotion, etc. In this paper, we experimentally studied the relationship between two content elements, each representing the two axis of the presence dichotomy, perceptual cues for spatial presence and sustained attention for (psychological) immersion. Our belief was that spatial perception or presence and a top down processed concept such as voluntary attention have only a very weak relationship, thus our experimental hypothesis was that sustained attention would positively affect spatial presence in a virtual environment with impoverished perceptual cues, but have no effect in an environment rich in them. In order to confirm the existence of the sustained attention in the experiment, fMRI of the subjects were taken and analyzed as well. The experimental results showed that that attention had no effect on spatial presence, even in the environment with impoverished spatial cues.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes
Event11th ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology, VRST 2004 - Hong Kong, China, Hong Kong
Duration: 2004 Nov 102004 Nov 12


Other11th ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology, VRST 2004
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
CityHong Kong, China


  • Attention
  • FMRI
  • Presence
  • Virtual Reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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