DOI: 10.1101/458588Oct 31, 2018Paper

Effects of weight and height on hand selection: a low-cost virtual reality paradigm

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Eric James McDermott, Marc Himmelbach


The main objective was to evaluate the ability of a virtual reality (VR) system to reliably detect the so-called switch-point of a user; the distinguishing plane between free-choice use of the left and right hand. Independent variables of height and weight were incorporated into the study design and their effects on hand selection were analyzed. The paradigm utilized the Leap Motion Hand Tracker, along with a custom script written in C# and was realized through a Unity3D application. Stimuli appeared in random locations on the computer screen, and required the participant to reach with the hand of their choice to contact them with a virtual hand inside the virtual space. We observed main effects of height and weight on switch-points across the group. We found increased use of the dominant hand as stimuli height increased, as well as a significant increase in overall use of the dominant hand when a 500 gram weighted glove was worn by the non-dominant hand. We validated the average switch-points in VR as compared to real-world setups in previous studies. Our results are in line with previously published real-world data, supporting the use of this paradigm in future VR experiments and applications.

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