Laura A. Janosko



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Recent evidence suggests that the quality of graphics in a computer-generated virtual environment influences the accuracy of distance judgments made within the virtual environment. This experiment investigates the suggestion that missing or incomplete surface texture and shadow information in low quality computer graphics may account for inaccurate distance judgments. Participants will view a static, computer-generated desktop surface with between 5 to 8 everyday objects arranged on the virtual desktop. Each participant will complete two conditions: a high-quality condition, in which the virtual objects will include realistic texture and shadow information, and a low-quality condition, in which the objects have incorrect texture information and no shadows. On each trial, participants will make judgments about the distances between two objects in the display. We predict that distance judgments will be more accurate in the high-quality condition. An eye tracker will be used to determine which pictorial depth visual cues participants rely on when making distance judgments. We hypothesize that participants will use visible shadows, when available, to judge spatial layout and the distances between objects. Results will provide information about the influence of distance cues such as texture and shadows in the perception of spatial layout in 2 dimensional computer-generated images.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Honors Thesis

Primary Advisor

Benjamin R. Kunz

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project

Visual Distance Cues Used for Relative Distance Judgments in 2D Displays