Toward a Characterization of Perceptual Biases in Mixed Reality: A Study of Factors Inducing Distance Misperception

Etienne Peillard successfully defended his PhD on November 24th, 2020 at Ecole Centrale de Nantes in front of the following committee:

  • Victoria Interrante, University of Minnesota
  • Jean-Louis Vercher, CNRS Aix-Marseille University
  • Saram Creem-Regehr, University of Utah
  • Valérie Gyselinck, Gustave Eiffel University
  • Anatole Lécuyer, INRIA Rennes
  • supervisors: Jean-Marie Normand, Ferran Arguelaguet and myself


Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, these words as well as their applications are gradually becoming common usage. However, the reality proposed by these technologies is not identical to our regular reality. This work aims to highlight some perceptual biases in Mixed Reality. First we study a perceptual bias linked to the observer: the anisotropy of the egocentric distances perception in virtual reality. In a second part, we study the exocentric perception of distances in Augmented Reality (AR). Indeed the underestimation of egocentric distances is a phenomenon frequently observed and it is therefore interesting to consider its potential transfer to the exocentric perception. Then we further study other potential biases in AR by focusing in particular on evaluating the impact of depth cues on the perception of distances. In particular, we investigate in this chapter the effect of two depth cues in AR: the impact of the position and shape of shadows on distance perception, and then the influence of accommodation on distance perception using a specific display technology: retinal projection devices. Finally, we discuss the potential impact of interaction techniques on distance perception and propose a protocol to evaluate the effect of certain interactions on distance perception in AR, in order to perhaps bring it closer to real perception.

[1] [2] [3] [4]


  1. [ISMAR]
    Can Retinal Projection Displays Improve Spatial Perception in Augmented Reality? Peillard, Etienne, Itoh, Yuta, Normand, Jean-Marie, Argelaguet, Ferran, Moreau, Guillaume, and Lécuyer, Anatole In IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR) 2020 [pdf]
  2. Influence of virtual objects’ shadows and lighting coherence on distance perception in optical see-through augmented reality Gao, Yuan, Peillard, Etienne, Normand, Jean-Marie, Moreau, Guillaume, Liu, Yue, and Wang, Yongtian Journal of the Society of Information Display 2020 [doi] [pdf]
  3. [ISMAR]
    Studying Exocentric Distance Perception in Optical See-Through Augmented Reality Peillard, Etienne, Argelaguet, Ferran, Normand, Jean-Marie, Lécuyer, Anatole, and Moreau, Guillaume In IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR) 2019 [doi] [pdf]
  4. [VR]
    Virtual objects look farther on the sides: the anisotropy of distance perception in virtual reality Peillard, Etienne, Thébaud, Thomas, Normand, Jean-Marie, Argelaguet, Ferran, Moreau, Guillaume, and Lécuyer, Anatole In IEEE Virtual Reality 2019 [Abs] [doi] [pdf]