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Virtual Nature: A Psychologically Beneficial Experience

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Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNISA,volume 11574)

Abstract

This study sought to determine which, if any, of the benefits conferred by experiences in nature are conferred by an equivalent Virtual Reality (VR) experience. To this end, previous VR users were immersed in a virtual forest environment. Post-immersion, participants were measured on a variety of metrics including stress level, relaxation level, and directed attention abilities – metrics that have been shown to be significantly modulated by exposure to physical nature. Our results indicate that experiences in virtual nature afford much the same psychological benefits of exposure to physical nature, but they did not show the same kinds of attentional benefits. Experiencing nature in VR significantly decreased self-reported anxiety levels.

Keywords

  • Virtual Reality
  • Nature
  • Directed attention
  • Stress reduction
  • Immersive environments
  • Attentional fatigue

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Correspondence to Laura M. Herman .

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Herman, L.M., Sherman, J. (2019). Virtual Nature: A Psychologically Beneficial Experience. In: Chen, J., Fragomeni, G. (eds) Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality. Multimodal Interaction. HCII 2019. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 11574. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-21607-8_34

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-21607-8_34

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