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Poster communications

Perspective taking in a realistic task in simulated microgravity conditions

Abstract : In space psychology, social interactions and good team collaboration are essential human factors for the success of long duration space flights. They largely depend on the ability to take another person's viewpoint, i.e. perspective taking. Such mental transformations are enabled by relying (1) on an egocentric reference frame requiring a speaker to adopt another speaker's perspective and/or (2) on an allocentric reference frame when an object itself or its features orients a speaker. Manipulation of these reference frames depend on retinal, proprioceptive and vestibular inputs that are difficult to dissociate on Earth in normal gravity conditions, whereas in microgravity conditions the vestibular system would be disrupted, along with egocentric mental transformations (Grabherr et al., 2007). The present study tested this hypothesis in a virtual reality perspective-taking task performed in parabolic flight conditions. Participants (n=12; mean age 49; all males), seated and secured in an armchair, were equipped with a virtual reality headset, headphones, and a wireless mouse (mouse tray fixed to their thigh). The virtual environment represented the interior of a spacecraft in the background and a floating 4x4 shelf containing several objects. On each trial an avatar popped up behind the shelf and gave an instruction to the participant, i.e. to move one of the objects from one compartment of the shelf to another (up/down/left/right) according to the avatar's point of view. We tested the involvement of (1) visual information, i.e. the avatar was in a vertical position and the shelf was tilted (-45°/+45°), (2) vestibular information, i.e. the avatar was tilted (-45°/+45°) requiring the participant to adjust to the avatar's perspective and (3) both information when the avatar and the shelf were tilted in opposite directions. The experiment was first performed on ground (baseline performance), then on the airplane during simulated microgravity and 1G periods. The mental task load was explored by the NASA-TLX test in the three test conditions and the Rod and Frame test performed preflight to determine subjects' spontaneous reliance on the visual reference frame. Results are discussed in light of those reported so far in the literature by studies using more simple test designs.
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Poster communications
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01974456
Contributor : Claudine Mélan <>
Submitted on : Monday, February 25, 2019 - 6:04:43 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 3:44:19 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Sunday, May 26, 2019 - 12:23:35 PM

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  • HAL Id : halshs-01974456, version 1

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Virginie Bayet, Nicolas Meirhaeghe, Pierre-Vincent Paubel, Claudine Mélan. Perspective taking in a realistic task in simulated microgravity conditions. 33rd Conference of the European Association of Aviation Psychology, Sep 2018, Dubrovnik, Croatia. ⟨halshs-01974456⟩

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