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Gaze angle: a possible mechanism of visual stress in virtual reality headsets

Mon-Williams, M., Plooy, A., Burgess-Limerick, R. and Wann, J. (1998) Gaze angle: a possible mechanism of visual stress in virtual reality headsets. Ergonomics, 41 (3). pp. 280-285. ISSN 0014-0139

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It is known that some Virtual Reality (VR) head-mounted displays (HMDs) can cause temporary deficits in binocular vision. On the other hand, the precise mechanism by which visual stress occurs is unclear. This paper is concerned with a potential source of visual stress that has not been previously considered with regard to VR systems: inappropriate vertical gaze angle. As vertical gaze angle is raised or lowered the 'effort' required of the binocular system also changes. The extent to which changes in vertical gaze angle alter the demands placed upon the vergence eye movement system was explored. The results suggested that visual stress may depend, in part, on vertical gaze angle. The proximity of the display screens within an HMD means that a VR headset should be in the correct vertical location for any individual user. This factor may explain some previous empirical results and has important implications for headset design. Fortuitously, a reasonably simple solution exists.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: gaze angle; head-mounted displays; virtual reality; visual stress
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Medicine and Health (Leeds) > School of Psychology (Leeds) > Cognitive Psychology (Leeds)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2009 13:24
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2015 17:29
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/001401398187035
Status: Published
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Identification Number: 10.1080/001401398187035
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/8707

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