Injured Avatars: The Impact of Embodied Anatomies and Virtual Injuries on Well-being and Performance

Kleinbeck C, Schieber H, Kreimeier J, Martin-Gomez A, Unberath M, Roth D (2023)


Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2023

Journal

Pages Range: 1-11

DOI: 10.1109/TVCG.2023.3320224

Abstract

Human cognition relies on embodiment as a fundamental mechanism. Virtual avatars allow users to experience the adaptation, control, and perceptual illusion of alternative bodies. Although virtual bodies have medical applications in motor rehabilitation and therapeutic interventions, their potential for learning anatomy and medical communication remains underexplored. For learners and patients, anatomy, procedures, and medical imaging can be abstract and difficult to grasp. Experiencing anatomies, injuries, and treatments virtually through one's own body could be a valuable tool for fostering understanding. This work investigates the impact of avatars displaying anatomy and injuries suitable for such medical simulations. We ran a user study utilizing a skeleton avatar and virtual injuries, comparing to a healthy human avatar as a baseline. We evaluate the influence on embodiment, well-being, and presence with self-report questionnaires, as well as motor performance via an arm movement task. Our results show that while both anatomical representation and injuries increase feelings of eeriness, there are no negative effects on embodiment, well-being, presence, or motor performance. These findings suggest that virtual representations of anatomy and injuries are suitable for medical visualizations targeting learning or communication without significantly affecting users' mental state or physical control within the simulation.

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How to cite

APA:

Kleinbeck, C., Schieber, H., Kreimeier, J., Martin-Gomez, A., Unberath, M., & Roth, D. (2023). Injured Avatars: The Impact of Embodied Anatomies and Virtual Injuries on Well-being and Performance. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 1-11. https://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TVCG.2023.3320224

MLA:

Kleinbeck, Constantin, et al. "Injured Avatars: The Impact of Embodied Anatomies and Virtual Injuries on Well-being and Performance." IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (2023): 1-11.

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