Self-attribution of distorted reaching movements in immersive virtual reality

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


This study explores the extent to which individuals embodied in Virtual Reality tend to self-attribute the movements of their avatar. More specifically, we tested subjects performing goal-directed movements and distorted the mapping between user and avatar movements by decreasing or increasing the amplitude of the avatar hand movement required to reach for a target, while maintaining the apparent amplitude – visual distance – fixed. In two experiments, we asked subjects to report whether the movement that they have seen matched the movement that they have performed, or asked them to classify whether a distortion was making the task easier or harder to complete. Our results show that subjects perform poorly in detecting discrepancies when the nature of the distortion is not made explicit and that subjects are biased to self-attributing distorted movements that make the task easier. These findings, in line with previous accounts on the sense of agency, demonstrate the flexibility of avatar embodiment and open new perspectives for the design of guided interactions in Virtual Reality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-152
Number of pages11
JournalComputers and Graphics (Pergamon)
StatePublished - Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Author(s)


We wish to thank the anonymous reviewers for their comments. This work was supported by the SNFS project “Immersive Embodied Interactions in Virtual Environments” with grant 200020_159968. Roy Salomon was supported by an Israeli Science foundation grant (ISF 1169/17).

FundersFunder number
Israeli Science FoundationISF 1169/17
Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung159968


    • Evaluation
    • Self-attribution
    • Virtual reality


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