Exploring Pupil Dilation in Emotional Virtual Reality Environments
Previous investigations have shown that pupil dilation can be affected by emotive pictures, audio clips, and videos. In this paper, we explore how emotive Virtual Reality (VR) content can also cause pupil dilation. VR has been shown to be able to evoke negative and positive arousal in users when they are immersed in different virtual scenes. In our research, VR scenes were used as emotional triggers. Five emotional VR scenes were designed in our study and each scene had five emotion segments; happiness, fear, anxiety, sadness, and disgust. When participants experienced the VR scenes, their pupil dilation and the brightness in the headset were captured. We found that both the negative and positive emotion segments produced pupil dilation in the VR environments. We also explored the effect of showing heart beat cues to the users, and if this could cause difference in pupil dilation. In our study, three different heart beat cues were shown to users using a combination of three channels; haptic, audio, and visual. The results showed that the haptic-visual cue caused the most significant pupil dilation change from the baseline.