Prior theoretical work on memory schemas, an influential concept of memory from the field of cognitive psychology, is presented for application to fidelity of computer graphics simulations. The basic assumption is that an individual's prior experience will influence how he or she perceives, comprehends, and remembers new information in a scene. Schemas are knowledge structures; a scene could incorporate objects that fit into a specific context or schema (e.g., an academic's office) referred to as consistent objects. A scene could also include objects that are not related to the schema in place referred to as inconsistent objects. In this paper, we describe ongoing development of a rendering framework related to scene perception based on schemas. An experiment was carried out to explore the effect of object type and rendering quality on object memory recognition in a room. The computer graphics simulation was displayed on a Head Mounted Display (HMD) utilizing stereo imagery and head tracking. Thirty-six participants across three conditions of varied rendering quality of the same space were exposed to the computer graphics environment and completed a memory recognition task. Results revealed that schema consistent elements of the scene were more likely to be recognized than inconsistent information. Overall higher confidence ratings were assigned for consistent objects compared to inconsistent ones. Total object recognition was better for the mid-quality condition compared to the low-quality one. The presence of shadow information, though, did not affect recognition of either consistent or inconsistent objects. Further explorations of the effect of schemas on spatial awareness in synthetic worlds could lead to identifying areas of a computer graphics scene that require better quality of rendering as well as areas for which lower fidelity could be sufficient. The ultimate goal of this work is to simulate a perceptual process rather than to simulate physics.

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