Change blindness phenomena for virtual reality display systems

Frank Steinicke, Gerd Bruder, Klaus Hinrichs, Pete Willemsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In visual perception, change blindness describes the phenomenon that persons viewing a visual scene may apparently fail to detect significant changes in that scene. These phenomena have been observed in both computer-generated imagery and real-world scenes. Several studies have demonstrated that change blindness effects occur primarily during visual disruptions such as blinks or saccadic eye movements. However, until now the influence of stereoscopic vision on change blindness has not been studied thoroughly in the context of visual perception research. In this paper, we introduce change blindness techniques for stereoscopic virtual reality (VR) systems, providing the ability to substantially modify a virtual scene in a manner that is difficult for observers to perceive. We evaluate techniques for semiimmersive VR systems, i.e., a passive and active stereoscopic projection system as well as an immersive VR system, i.e., a head-mounted display, and compare the results to those of monoscopic viewing conditions. For stereoscopic viewing conditions, we found that change blindness phenomena occur with the same magnitude as in monoscopic viewing conditions. Furthermore, we have evaluated the potential of the presented techniques for allowing abrupt, and yet significant, changes of a stereoscopically displayed virtual reality environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5710911
Pages (from-to)1223-1233
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was partly supported by grants from Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.


  • Change blindness
  • stereoscopic display
  • virtual reality


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