Presence in Visual Mental Imagery

  • Jayesh S. Pillai
  • Uday A. Athavankar
  • Colin T. A. Schmidt
  • Simon Richir
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8237)


‘Presence’, the sense of being inside a virtual environment evoked with the help of computer mediation, has come to be a subject well explored in the field of virtual reality. Studies on mental imagery confirm that we can intuitively evoke objects and spaces in our minds and interact with them temporally. We believe that a sense of presence could be experienced in such self-evoked reality as well. This paper explores the experience of presence in visual mental imagery. We studied verbal expressions, physical movements and gestures, exhibited during mental imagery experiences in two scenarios - a guiding task and a mental walk exercise. A ‘protocol analysis’ was performed followed by analysis of time taken and mapping of physical movements. The results evidently point to this spatio-temporal phenomenon of experiencing presence. Furthermore, we present a comparative review on the sense of presence experienced during mental imagery and virtual reality.


presence mental imagery mental walk spatial attention protocol analysis virtual reality 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Lombard, M., Ditton, T.: At the Heart of It All: The Concept of Presence,
  2. 2.
    Minsky, M.: Telepresence. Omni 2, 45–52 (1980)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sheridan, T.B.: Musings on telepresence and virtual presence. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments 1, 120–126 (1992)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Steuer, J.: Defining virtual reality: Dimensions determining telepresence. Journal of Communication 42, 73–93 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sanchez-Vives, M.V., Slater, M.: From presence to consciousness through virtual reality. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 6, 332–339 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Pillai, J.S., Schmidt, C.T.A., Richir, S.: Achieving Presence through Evoked Reality. Frontiers in Psychology (Frontiers in Consciousness Research) 4 (2013)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Pillai, J.S.: Evoked Reality: From Dreams to Simulations - A conceptual framework of Reality referring to Presence (Doctoral Thesis) Angers: Arts et Métiers ParisTech (2013)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Biocca, F.: Can we resolve the book, the physical reality, and the dream state problems? From the two-pole to a three-pole model of shifts in presence. In: EU Future and Emerging Technologies, Presence Initiative Meeting (2003)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Shepard, R.N., Metzler, J.: Mental rotation of three-dimensional objects. Science 171, 701–703 (1971)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kosslyn, S.M.: Image and Mind. Harvard University Press, Cambridge (1980)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kosslyn, S.M.: Mental images and the brain. Cognitive Neuropsychology 22, 333–347 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kosslyn, S.M.: Image and Brain: The Resolution of the Imagery Debate. MIT Press, Cambridge (1994)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Athavankar, U.A., Bokil, P., Guruprasad, K., Patsute, R., Sharma, S.: Reaching Out in the Mind’s Space. In: Design Computing and Cognition 2008, pp. 321–340 (2008)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Slater, M.: Place Illusion and Plausibility Illusion can lead to realistic behaviour in immersive virtual environments. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 364, 3549–3557 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Witmer, B.G., Singer, M.F.: Measuring presence in virtual environments. In: ARI Technical Report, pp. 783-784. Army Research Inst For The, Behavioral Social Sciences (1994)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Reeves, B.: Being there: Television as symbolic versus natural experience. Institute for Communication Research. Stanford University (1991) (unpublished manuscript)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Gerrig, R.J.: Experiencing narrative worlds: On the psychological activities of reading. Yale University Press (1993)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Schloerb, D.W.: A quantitative measure of telepresence. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments 4, 64–80 (1995)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Geslin, E., Bouchard, S., Richir, S.: Gamers’ versus non-gamers’ emotional response in virtual reality. Journal of CyberTherapy & Rehabilitation 4, 489–493 (2011)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ravaja, N., Saari, T., Turpeinen, M., Laarni, J., Salminen, M., Kivikangas, M.: Spatial presence and emotions during video game playing: does it matter with whom you play? Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments 15, 381–392 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Rheingold, H.: Virtual reality. Summit Books, New York (1991) Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Athavankar, U.A., Mukherjee, A.: Blindfolded classroom getting design students to use mental imagery. In: Human Behaviour in Design, pp. 111–120. Springer (2003)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
  24. 24.
    Austin, J., Delaney, P.F.: Protocol analysis as a tool for behavior analysis. The Analysis of verbal behavior 15, 41 (1998)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ericsson, K.A., Simon, H.A.: Verbal reports on thinking. Introspection in Second Langauge Research, 24–53 (1987)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Suwa, M., Tversky, B.: What do architects and students perceive in their design sketches? A protocol analysis. Design Studies 18, 385–403 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Athavankar, U.: Gestures, Imagery and Spatial Reasoning. In: Garo, J.S., T.B. (eds.) Visual and Spatial Reasoning, Preprints of the International Conference on Visual and Spatial Reasoning, pp. 103–128. MIT, Cambridge (1999)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Zacks, J.M.: Neuroimaging studies of mental rotation: A meta-analysis and review. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 20, 1–19 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Reisberg, D., Logie, R.: The ins and outs of working memory: Overcoming the limits on learning from imagery. Advances in Psychology: Imagery Creativity and Discovery 98, 39–76 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Duncan, J.: Selective attention and the organization of visual information. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 501, 113 (1984)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Slater, M., Steed, A.: A Virtual Presence Counter. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments 9, 413–434 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Slater, M., Usoh, M.: Representations systems, perceptual position, and presence in immersive virtual environments. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments 2, 221–233 (1993)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Buckner, R.L., Carroll, D.C.: Self-projection and the brain. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 11, 49–57 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Biocca, F., Burgoon, J., Harms, C., Stoner, M.: Criteria and scope conditions for a theory and measure of social presence. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments (2001)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    ISPR - International Society for Presence Research: The Concept of Presence: Explication Statement,

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jayesh S. Pillai
    • 1
  • Uday A. Athavankar
    • 2
  • Colin T. A. Schmidt
    • 3
    • 4
  • Simon Richir
    • 4
  1. 1.Design & ManufacturingIndian Institute of Information TechnologyJabalpurIndia
  2. 2.IDCIndian Institute of Technology BombayIndia
  3. 3.Le Mans UniversityLe MansFrance
  4. 4.LAMPAArts et Metiers ParisTechAngersFrance

Personalised recommendations