A new study has shed light on an effect specific to virtual reality, where perceived time passes more slowly than real time. This time compression could have beneficial applications for medical therapy.
It is not uncommon to lose track of time while being focused on a task, and even more so during video games. However, virtual reality (VR) would have a much more pronounced effect according to a new study by researchers at theand published in the journal .
This effect, dubbed “time compression”, is known among users of, and researcher Grayson Mullen discovered it for himself while testing a helmet at a friend’s house. ” I couldn’t even guess if it was 10 or 40 minutes », He indicated. He therefore decided to test this effect on 41 volunteers by creating a labyrinth that works in virtual reality as well as on a classic flat screen. They played both formats, one group starting with the VR version, the other with the screen version.
72.6 seconds difference for an estimate of five minutes
Subjects were to stop when they felt they had played for five minutes. Those who started with the VR version played an average of 72.6 seconds longer than those who started with the screen version, showing the effect of time compression. Oddly enough, this effect is only present for those who started with VR.
Ain 2011 had discovered the effect of time compression in patients following a , but focused on the differences according to the . This new study compares the same game on screen and in , proving that the effect is specific to virtual reality. Virtual reality could be used to help patients who regularly undergo lengthy procedures. In addition to distracting them, they would have the impression that the interventions last less.