Detecting Visuo-Haptic Mismatches in Virtual Reality using the Prediction Error Negativity of Event-Related Brain Potentials

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings, 2019
Issue Date:
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© 2019 Copyright held by the owner/author(s). Designing immersion is the key challenge in virtual reality; this challenge has driven advancements in displays, rendering and recently, haptics. To increase our sense of physical immersion, for instance, vibrotactile gloves render the sense of touching, while electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) renders forces. Unfortunately, the established metric to assess the effectiveness of haptic devices relies on the user’s subjective interpretation of unspecific, yet standardized, questions. Here, we explore a new approach to detect a conflict in visuo-haptic integration (e.g., inadequate haptic feedback based on poorly configured collision detection) using electroencephalography (EEG). We propose analyzing event-related potentials (ERPs) during interaction with virtual objects. In our study, participants touched virtual objects in three conditions and received either no haptic feedback, vibration, or vibration and EMS feedback. To provoke a brain response in unrealistic VR interaction, we also presented the feedback prematurely in 25% of the trials. We found that the early negativity component of the ERP (so called prediction error) was more pronounced in the mismatch trials, indicating we successfully detected haptic conflicts using our technique. Our results are a first step towards using ERPs to automatically detect visuo-haptic mismatches in VR, such as those that can cause a loss of the user’s immersion.
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