Real vs. immersive-virtual emotional experience: Analysis of psycho-physiological patterns in a free exploration of an art museum

Autoři: Javier Marín-Morales aff001;  Juan Luis Higuera-Trujillo aff001;  Alberto Greco aff002;  Jaime Guixeres aff001;  Carmen Llinares aff001;  Claudio Gentili aff003;  Enzo Pasquale Scilingo aff002;  Mariano Alcañiz aff001;  Gaetano Valenza aff002
Působiště autorů: Instituto de Investigación e Innovación en Bioingeniería, Universitat Politècnica de València, València, Spain aff001;  Bioengineering and Robotics Research Centre E Piaggio & Department of Information Engineering, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy aff002;  Department of General Psychology, University of Padua, Padua, Italy aff003
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article


Virtual reality is a powerful tool in human behaviour research. However, few studies compare its capacity to evoke the same emotional responses as in real scenarios. This study investigates psycho-physiological patterns evoked during the free exploration of an art museum and the museum virtualized through a 3D immersive virtual environment (IVE). An exploratory study involving 60 participants was performed, recording electroencephalographic and electrocardiographic signals using wearable devices. The real vs. virtual psychological comparison was performed using self-assessment emotional response tests, whereas the physiological comparison was performed through Support Vector Machine algorithms, endowed with an effective feature selection procedure for a set of state-of-the-art metrics quantifying cardiovascular and brain linear and nonlinear dynamics. We included an initial calibration phase, using standardized 2D and 360° emotional stimuli, to increase the accuracy of the model. The self-assessments of the physical and virtual museum support the use of IVEs in emotion research. The 2-class (high/low) system accuracy was 71.52% and 77.08% along the arousal and valence dimension, respectively, in the physical museum, and 75.00% and 71.08% in the virtual museum. The previously presented 360° stimuli contributed to increasing the accuracy in the virtual museum. Also, the real vs. virtual classifier accuracy was 95.27%, using only EEG mean phase coherency features, which demonstrates the high involvement of brain synchronization in emotional virtual reality processes. These findings provide an important contribution at a methodological level and to scientific knowledge, which will effectively guide future emotion elicitation and recognition systems using virtual reality.

Klíčová slova:

Central nervous system – Electroencephalography – Emotions – Eyes – principal component analysis – Psychometrics – Support vector machines – Virtual reality


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