This study investigated the effects of simulating self-motion via a head-mounted display (HMD) on standing postural sway and spatial presence. Standing HMD users viewed simulated oscillatory self-motion in depth. On a particular trial, this naso-occipital visual oscillation had one of four different amplitudes (either 4, 8, 12 or 16 m peak-to-peak) and one of four different frequencies (either 0.125, 0.25, 0.5 or 1 Hz). We found that simulated high amplitude self-oscillation (approximately 16 m peak-to-peak) at either 0.25 Hz or 0.5 Hz: 1) generated the strongest effects on postural sway; and 2) made participants feel more spatially present in the virtual environment. Our findings provide insight into the parameters of simulated self-motion that generate the strongest postural responses within virtual environments. These postural constraints have valuable implications for improving our understanding of sensory processes underlying the ergonomic experience of virtual environments simulated using HMDs.
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Australian Research Council