PhD Proposal by Sean McGlynn

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Name: Sean McGlynn

School of Psychology Dissertation Proposal

Date: Friday, November 17, 2017

Time: 1:00 pm

Location: JS Coon bldg. 150


Professor Wendy A. Rogers, Ph.D. (University of Illinois: Urbana-Champaign)


Dissertation Committee Members:

Professor  Bruce N. Walker. Ph.D. (Chair) (Georgia Tech)

Professor Maribeth G. Coleman, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)

Associate Professor Scott D. Moffat, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)

Associate Professor Eric H. Schumacher, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)

Title: Investigating Age-Related Differences in Spatial Presence Formation and Maintenance in Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR) is an emerging technology with the potential to benefit physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional well-being for users of all ages. For VR applications to be effective, it is often necessary for the user to experience a 'sense of being' physically located in the digital environment. This subjective experience is referred to as spatial presence, and is considered to be the primary goal of virtual reality. The extant VR literature has largely focused on the impact of immersiveness, the system's objective properties (e.g., screen resolution, field of view), on spatial presence. Yet, spatial presence is a psychological state of the user and as such, is subject to individual differences even if the VR system is held constant. Cognitive and perceptual abilities are thought to be critical in the spatial presence formation process. However, the participants in most studies on presence have been college undergraduates, who are generally high in these types of abilities. This limits our understanding of the roles of cognitive and perceptual abilities in the spatial presence process. An additional limitation in the spatial presence literature is a lack of research on how spatial presence is maintained in the virtual environment after initial formation and on methods of measuring within-experience fluctuations in presence. The proposed dissertation will investigate differences in virtual reality spatial presence formation and maintenance between younger and older users, the latter of whom will be a proxy for changes in cognitive and perceptual abilities as well as other person variables. This research will advance models of spatial presence in virtual reality and has practical applications for


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Tatianna Richardson
  • Created: 11/14/2017
  • Modified By: Tatianna Richardson
  • Modified: 11/14/2017