A modularity design approach to behavioral research with immersive virtual reality: A SkyrimVR-based behavioral experimental framework

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Virtual reality (VR) has been shown to be a potential research tool, yet the gap between traditional and VR behavioral experiment systems poses a challenge for many behavioral researchers. To address the challenge posed, the present study first adopted a modularity design strategy and proposed a five-module architectural framework for a VR behavioral experiment system that aimed to reduce complexity and costs of development. Applying the five-module architectural framework, the present study developed the SkyrimVR-based behavioral experimental framework (SkyBXF) module, a basic experimental framework module that adopted and integrated the classic human behavior experiment structure (i.e., session-block-trial model) with the modifiable VR massive gaming franchise The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR. A modified version of previous behavioral research to investigate the effects of masked peripheral vision on visually-induced motion sickness in an immersive virtual environment was conducted as a proof of concept to showcase the feasibility of the proposed five-module architectural framework and the SkyBXF module developed. Behavioral data acquired through the case study were consistent with those from previous behavioral research. This indicates the viability of the proposed five-module architectural framework and the SkyBXF module developed, and provides proof that future behavioral researchers with minimal programming proficiency, 3D environment development expertise, time, personnel, and resources may reuse ready-to-go resources and behavioral experiment templates offered by SkyBXF to swiftly establish realistic virtual worlds that can be further customized for experimental need on the go.

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Behavior Research Methods



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