Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Talk to the virtual hands: Body language of both speaker and listener affects success in virtual reality communication game

Date:
October 13, 2011
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
New research finds that the lack of gestural information from both speaker and listener limits successful communication in virtual environments.

This is two people communicating with self-animated avatars.
Credit: Trevor J. Dodds, Betty J. Mohler, Heinrich H. Bόlthoff. Talk to the Virtual Hands: Self-Animated Avatars Improve Communication in Head-Mounted Display Virtual Environments. PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (10): e25759 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0025759

Modern technology allows us to communicate in more ways than ever before, but this virtual communication usually lacks the body gestures so common in face-to-face interactions.

New research, published Oct. 12 in the online journal PLoS ONE, finds that the lack of gestural information from both speaker and listener limits successful communication in virtual environments.

Participants in the study played a communication game, in which one partner had to describe a word's meaning to his partner so that the partner could guess the word.

Importantly, the partners could only interact through animated avatars; in some cases the avatars were controlled by virtual reality suits worn by the participants, while in other cases the avatars remained static throughout the game or acted out pre-recorded gestures.

The researchers found that the best performance was obtained when both avatars were able to move according to the motions of their owner. Specifically, they found that, in addition to the body language of the speaker being important, the body language of the listener impacted success at the task, providing evidence of the need for nonverbal feedback from listening partners in successful communication.

The researchers note that there are limitations to nonverbal communication in virtual reality environments. First, they found that participants move much less in a virtual environment than they do in the "real world." They also found that the perspective of the camera in the virtual environment affected the results.

Lead author, Dr. Trevor Dodds maintains, "this research demonstrates that virtual reality technology can help us gain a greater understanding of the role of body gestures in communication. We show that body gestures carry extra information when communicating the meaning of words. Additionally, with virtual reality technology we have learned that body gestures from both the speaker and listener contribute to the successful communication of the meaning of words. These findings are also important for the development of virtual environments, with applications including medical training, urban planning, entertainment and telecommunication."

The work was led by Dr. Trevor Dodds at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Germany.

This research was supported by a post doctoral grant from the Max Planck Society, and by the WCU (World Class University) program funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology through the National Research Foundation of Korea (R31-10008).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Trevor J. Dodds, Betty J. Mohler, Heinrich H. Bόlthoff. Talk to the Virtual Hands: Self-Animated Avatars Improve Communication in Head-Mounted Display Virtual Environments. PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (10): e25759 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0025759

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Talk to the virtual hands: Body language of both speaker and listener affects success in virtual reality communication game." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111012185624.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2011, October 13). Talk to the virtual hands: Body language of both speaker and listener affects success in virtual reality communication game. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111012185624.htm
Public Library of Science. "Talk to the virtual hands: Body language of both speaker and listener affects success in virtual reality communication game." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111012185624.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Families Can Now Ask Twitter To Remove Photos Of Deceased

Families Can Now Ask Twitter To Remove Photos Of Deceased

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — In the wake of a high-profile harassment case, Twitter says family members can ask for photos of dying or dead relatives to be taken down. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ballmer Leaves Microsoft's Board, Has Advice For Nadella

Ballmer Leaves Microsoft's Board, Has Advice For Nadella

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — In a letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Ballmer said he's leaving the board of directors and offered tips on how the company can be successful. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Google Can Gain From Special Accounts For Children

What Google Can Gain From Special Accounts For Children

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — Google will reportedly offer official accounts for children younger than 13 years old. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakingviews: Ebola's Economic Impact Could Eclipse SARS

Breakingviews: Ebola's Economic Impact Could Eclipse SARS

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 18, 2014) — The virus ravaging Africa has yet to spread elsewhere. Yet Asia’s SARS crisis in 2003 showed how changes to behaviour can hurt the economy more than the actual disease, says Breakingviews' Una Galani. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins