Characterizing first and third person viewpoints and their alternation for embodied interaction in virtual reality

Henrique Galvan Debarba, Sidney Bovet, Roy Salomon, Olaf Blanke, Bruno Herbelin, Ronan Boulic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Empirical research on the bodily self has shown that the body representation is malleable, and prone to manipulation when conflicting sensory stimuli are presented. Using Virtual Reality (VR) we assessed the effects of manipulating multisensory feedback (full body control and visuo-tactile congruence) and visual perspective (first and third person perspective) on the sense of embodying a virtual body that was exposed to a virtual threat. We also investigated how subjects behave when the possibility of alternating between first and third person perspective at will was presented. Our results support that illusory ownership of a virtual body can be achieved in both first and third person perspectives under congruent visuomotor-tactile condition. However, subjective body ownership and reaction to threat were generally stronger for first person perspective and alternating condition than for third person perspective. This suggests that the possibility of alternating perspective is compatible with a strong sense of embodiment, which is meaningful for the design of new embodied VR experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0190109
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Galvan Debarba et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


This work has been supported by SNFS project “Immersive Embodied Interactions in Virtual Environments” N 200021_140910. Roy Salomon was supported by an Israeli Science foundation grant (ISF 1169/17).

FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation1169/17
Stavros Niarchos Foundation


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