Info - Project VEP

Virtual environment presentations: Perception and appraisal

Bernd ROHRMANN ( University of Melbourne)


The project's aim is to investigate perceptions and appraisals of "virtual environment presentations" (VEP's). Various computer-based simulations as well as photographies of the actual environment as reality reference will be used to critically test the 'presentation validity' of VEP's and to identify how different simulation modes affect how viewers respond to environmental images.

The results shall elucidate the relevance of presentation features (e.g., accuracy, colour use, oddness) and augment further VEP research and application.


This project continues the previous projects VEV "Virtual environments and human perception: Experiments in validity and ASM Appraisal of a simulated Melbourne University walk". It is part of an on-going collaboration with Prof. Ian Bishop from the Center for Geographic Information Systems & Modeling at the University of Melbourne.
In 2008, a series of 6 experiments was designed, to be conducted in 2009 at Utrecht University (Netherlands), together with Dr Lex Toet & Drs Joske Houtkamp. Some selected extensions shall be run in Rohrmann's Environmental Psychology Lab.

= Research design =

So far, the following design features have been worked out:
>VEP types:
[A] Standard VEP, based on images from Study ASM (designed by Ian Bishop's team).
[B] Special VEP's, including: Presentation in low detail-level, in sketch/drawing mode, in imitated painting style, in glas-mosaic design, in 'twisted-colour'' appearance (these were created in collaboration with R. Helmholtz, Oktogon, Germany). Each of these 5 series uses 8 images, all in colour and in black&white presentation.
> Reality mode:
A series of photographs [P] (made by B. Rohrmann) is available, as well as a video-recording.
> Reference for VEP's in experiments
Series [P] to be used as comparison for series [A]; series [A] to be used as reference for [B].
> Data collection:
In several experiments sets of VEP's and reference images will be shown, to be described and assessed via standardized questionnaires. These were prepared in three languages (English, Dutch, German).

= Timing =

Several planning sessions were held since August 2007 and test surveys realized in April 2008. However, unfortunately the main experiments in Utrecht could not yet be conducted, for logistic reasons. Instead, a few exploratory experiments were carried out in Melbourne in November 2009. Since then VEP is on hold. The project was meant to continue (2010 & 2011), focussed on special features of virtual environments. However, budget scarcity and retirements made this unfeasible - VEP will be shut down.

= Contact address =

Prof. Bernd ROHRMANN, via
Roman Research Road venture, Melbourne, Victoria 3054, AUSTRALIA
E-Mail: rohrmann {at}

BR 30-12-11