Pooria Shafia

Dept. Of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science



Pooria Shafia is a 3rd year Biomedical and Electrical Engineering student at Faculty of Engineering and Design at Carleton University. Previously in 2015, Pooria received his Honours BSc in Psychology from York University. He is spending the summer in the Perception Lab under the supervision of Dr. Robert Allison creating virtual environments to study the human-computer interaction in such environments. Specifically, Pooria will be designing virtual worlds and experiments aimed at understanding the perceptual mechanisms and their role in how humans interact in virtual environments.

By the end of the summer, Pooria is hoping to have gained a better understanding of perceptual mechanisms in virtual environments. This is particularly important because as the Virtual Reality (VR) technology grows, it is imperative to understand the perceptual mechanisms that permit or limit the use of the VR devices. This, in turn, allows for further improvement of such technologies.


The effect of the field of view size on the performance of visuo-spatial tasks in virtual environments
Over the years, the usage of virtual reality (VR) devices has been on the rise. In 2016, there were roughly 43 million virtual reality users. This figure is projected to reach 171 million users by 2018. With the ongoing increase in the usage VR devices, researchers have been conducting various studies to understand the factors that affect the usage of such devices. One important area of research is the study of perception and the perceptual mechanisms that affect the use of virtual devices.

The purpose of this project was to design a virtual environment to be used with a Christie Digital CAVE screen to study the effects of the field of view’s size on various visuospatial tasks, including memory and navigation. To achieve the goals of this project, the model of a maze consisting of six different rooms, each with a specific theme, was created by the 3DS Max software. The 3D model created was then integrated into a virtual reality environment using the WorldViz’s Vizard virtual reality platform. A Logitech gamepad was used to allow participants to navigate the virtual environment. Additionally, two virtual masks were designed to restrict the participants’ field of view to 40 and 90 degrees. Finally, to analyze participants’ performance in the study, positional data and head orientation data were recorded and analyzed via a MATLAB script. The positional data were obtained directly from the participants’ position in the virtual world and the head orientation data were obtained using a pair WorldViz head trackers.

Ultimately, once the study is conducted by recruiting participants, the performances of participants can be compared in each of the restricted field of view conditions to give us a better understanding of the effects of different field of view sizes.