Validation of the Virtual Reality Neuroscience Questionnaire: Maximum duration of immersive virtual reality sessions without the presence of pertinent adverse symptomatology

Panagiotis Kourtesis, Simona Collina, Leonidas A. Doumas, Sarah E. MacPherson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There are major concerns about the suitability of immersive virtual reality (VR) systems (i.e., head-mounted display; HMD) to be implemented in research and clinical settings, because of the presence of nausea, dizziness, disorientation, fatigue, and instability (i.e., VR induced symptoms and effects; VRISE). Research suggests that the duration of a VR session modulates the presence and intensity of VRISE, but there are no suggestions regarding the appropriate maximum duration of VR sessions. The implementation of high-end VR HMDs in conjunction with ergonomic VR software seems to mitigate the presence of VRISE substantially. However, a tool does not currently exist to appraise the quality of software features and VRISE intensity quantitatively. The Virtual Reality Neuroscience Questionnaire (VRNQ) was developed to assess the quality of VR software in terms of user experience, game mechanics, in-game assistance, and VRISE. Forty participants aged between 28 and 43 years were recruited (18 gamers and 22 non-gamers) for the study. They participated in 3 different VR sessions until they felt weary or discomfort and subsequently filled in the VRNQ. Our results demonstrated that VRNQ is a valid tool for assessing VR software as it has good convergent, discriminant, and construct validity. The maximum duration of VR sessions should be between 55-70 minutes to avoid moderate or intense VRISE and, after familiarization with the VR system, while the gaming experience does not affect how long VR sessions should last. Also, while the quality of VR software substantially modulates the maximum duration of VR sessions, age and education do not. Finally, deeper immersion, better quality of graphics and sound, and more helpful in-game instructions and prompts were found to reduce VRISE intensity. The VRNQ facilitates the assessment and reporting of the quality of VR software features and the intensity of VRISE, while its minimum and parsimonious cut-offs may appraise the suitability of VR software for implementation in research and clinical settings. The findings of this study contribute to the establishment of rigorous VR methods that are crucial for the viability of immersive VR as a research and clinical tool in cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology.
Original languageEnglish
Article number417
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2019

Keywords

  • Virtual Reality
  • VRISE
  • VR sickness
  • cybersickness
  • neuroscience
  • neuropsychology
  • psychology
  • motion sickness

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