University of Twente Student Theses


Testing the Variation of the Pupil Diameter Dilation as Measure of the Sense of Embodiment

Zhang, L. (2021) Testing the Variation of the Pupil Diameter Dilation as Measure of the Sense of Embodiment.

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Abstract:The Sense of Embodiment (SoE) is defined as the experience of perceiving an external body, or part of it, as one's own. This research focuses on validating a novel way to assess the SoE: the variation of the pupil diameter dilation (PDD). We test it by manipulating the SoE in an out-of-body experience in a between group design. We administer visuo-tactile synchronous stimuli to one group (the embodied group) and visuo-tactile asynchronous stimuli to the other (not embodied group). There is not a standard way to measure the SoE. Usually, a combination of explicit and implicit measures is the most reliable way to assess it. The most common physiological measures used to assess the SoE are the Skin Conductance Response (SCR) and the Heart Rate (HR), which are recorded during our experiment and compared with the PPD detection. Moreover, we combined the implicit measures with an explicit measure (a questionnaire). A setup involving a VIVE Pro Eye HMD is designed for the user study. The questionnaire and PDD results confirmed that the synchronous group experienced a higher SoE than the asynchronous group. This confirmed the proper design of the two conditions. However, the SCR and HR data report the opposite trend. The detection of the SoE and its components (sense of ownership, sense of agency, and sense of self-location) levels and variations is subject of a current debate due to its importance to understand the levels of self-attribution and control of an external body, especially in research fields such as teleoperation and cognitive science. Our results show that the PDD is a potential measure of the SoE, but the comparison with SCR and HR suggests that we are still far away from an ad hoc measure of the SoE.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Programme:Computer Science BSc (56964)
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