Fauville, G., Queiroz, A. C. M., Hambrick, Woolsey, E. S., Kelly, J. W., & Bailenson J. N. (2021) The effect of water immersion on vection in virtual reality. Sci Rep 11, 1022. doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-80100-y
Research about vection (illusory self-motion) has investigated a wide range of sensory cues and employed various methods and equipment, including use of virtual reality (VR). However, there is currently no research in the field of vection on the impact of floating in water while experiencing VR. Aquatic immersion presents a new and interesting method to potentially enhance vection by reducing conflicting sensory information that is usually experienced when standing or sitting on a stable surface. This study compares vection, visually induced motion sickness, and presence among participants experiencing VR while standing on the ground or floating in water. Results show that vection was significantly enhanced for the participants in the Water condition, whose judgments of self-displacement were larger than those of participants in the Ground condition. No differences in visually induced motion sickness or presence were found between conditions. We discuss the implication of this new type of VR experience for the fields of VR and vection while also discussing future research questions that emerge from our findings.