Virtual reality (VR) represents a set of computer technologies, which allow users to interact with a threedimensional, computer-generated environment in real time. VR is starting to be used in psychophysics experiments as well as in psychological therapy around the world. VR provides a way to immerse a user in an environment in which the interaction between different sensory modalities can be controlled. Therefore VR represents an interesting tool to study the integration of space-related multisensory information in human and its disorders. Incorporating real-time updated 3-D sound to virtual reality technologies addresses several issues. If there seems to be a consensus on the fact that 'presence' is improved by 3-D sound, little is known about how an auditory virtual environment (VE) should be designed so that it does not interfere with the visual VE. It is well known that discrepancies in the location of synchronized auditory and visual events can lead to mislocalizations of the auditory source, so-called ventriloquism. In two experiments, we tested whether such cross-modal influences on auditory localization could be observed after an immersion in a VE. Auditory stimuli were presented via headphones (HRTFs) and were presented in synchrony with virtual visual events. We observed that the association of virtual auditory and visual stimuli could lead to a 'complete' remapping of auditory space, including stimulus locations not presented during the VR immersion. It is therefore possible to induce a ventriloquist effect with VR, which can not be interpreted in terms of a simple visual biasing of auditory localization.
Contribution au colloque ou congrès : CFA-DAGA