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Journal Articles New Ideas in Psychology Year : 2009

Perceptual interactions in a minimalist virtual environment


How in real-life or through the use of technical devices can we recognize the presence of other persons and under what conditions can we differentiate them from objects? In order to approach this question, in the study reported here we explored the most basic conditions necessary for participants to recognize the presence of another person during a perceptual interaction. We created a mini-network of two minimalist devices and investigated whether participants were able to differentiate the perception of another person from the perception of a fixed and a mobile object even when the pattern of sensory stimulation was reduced to a bare minimum. We show that participants can recognize when the all-or-none tactile stimulation they experienced was attributable to an encounter with the other participant's avatar or the mobile object rather than with a fixed object. Participants were also able to establish different strategies in order to favor the situations of mutual perception. Thus, in the minimalist conditions of our experiment, the perception of another intentional subject was not based purely on any particular shape or objective trajectories of displacement; it was also based on properties that are intrinsic to the joint perceptual activity itself.

Dates and versions

hal-04584710 , version 1 (23-05-2024)



Malika Auvray, Charles Lenay, John Stewart. Perceptual interactions in a minimalist virtual environment. New Ideas in Psychology, 2009, 27 (1), pp.32-47. ⟨10.1016/j.newideapsych.2007.12.002⟩. ⟨hal-04584710⟩
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