Visual Attention in Virtual Reality
: (Alternative Format Thesis)

  • Jacob Hadnett-Hunter

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Research into human behavior and cognition has benefited greatly from use of virtual environments and reality in recent years. These methods are particularly promising for the study of human visual attention as they increase the ecological validity of stimuli presentation and observer interaction while retaining a significant amount of experimental control. This thesis aims to explore the methodological use of virtual environments and virtual reality for the study of visual attention. This is done in two ways. First, by making use of such methods to conduct novel visual attention studies. Chapter 1 studies how an observers task impacts on their attentional allocation in virtual environments. Chapter 3 presents a series of visual search experiments extended to virtual reality viewing conditions. Chapter 4 demonstrates the role of additional depth cues for attentional allocation in 3D environments. Second, this thesis further
presents both guidelines for the use of such methods, along with considerations of the limitations of current virtual reality technology, and a novel toolbox for designing and conducting visual search experiments in virtual reality. The resulting contribution of this thesis is set of novel visual attention research along with a means for other researcher to utilise virtual reality to better study visual attention.
Date of Award22 Jun 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorEamonn O'Neill (Supervisor) & Michael Proulx (Supervisor)

Cite this