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Comparing Presence, Workload, and Performance in Desktop and Virtual Reality Flight Simulations
Virtual Program Session
DescriptionVirtual reality (VR) offers a training environment that promotes increased learning and performance. However, to what extent VR flight simulations offer increased performance compared to less-immersive simulators is not clear, and neither are their underlying cognitive aspects. In a within-subject experiment, we compared fight performance and subjective measures of workload, presence, and engagement in two flight training environments (Desktop and VR) on two flight tasks of equal difficulty (changing speed and performing turns). No differences were observed in the flight performance between these conditions. However, participants reported higher presence and engagement in the VR training environment. Additionally, we found a correlation between subjective workload and flight performance in the Desktop condition, but not in VR. We conclude that VR is promising for basic flight training tasks and encourage future work to explore this further by investigating neurophysiological indices of workload and engagement and establishing relationships between presence, workload, and flight performance.