Media Technology MSc

MSc Thesis


Effects of Visual Cues of Wind on Perception of Wind and Cycling Speed


Donna Schipper




Drawing from findings on visual dominance in the field of multimodal perception and the role of wind in everyday life, effects of visual cues of wind in multimodal scene perception and its reflection in behaviour are examined. This study evaluates perception of incongruent multimodal cues of wind and its reflection in cycling speed. In a within subject experiment, 33 subjects were exposed to two wind conditions during a one kilometer long cycling trip in a virtual environment. Wind was represented by visual and haptic cues, while the haptic stimulus was static. First, a weak environmental wind was visualized that halfway transformed into a strong wind condition (this order was counterbalanced). Wheel rotation duration over time, subjects’ experience of the trip and immersive tendencies were measured. No effects of changing visual cues of wind on wheel rotation duration were found. Mean wheel rotation duration decreased between the first and second condition for almost all subjects: those starting in the weak wind as well those in the strong wind condition. The most important finding is that subjects were aware of the incongruency of haptic and visual cues but still felt affected by both. They self-reported they increased cycling speed because wind force increased, which suggests a relation exists between exposure to visual cues of wind, and cycling behaviour in such a way that people tend to increase their cycling effort when wind seems to become stronger. Further research is needed to determine whether this possible relation exists in behaviour, rather than in perception of behaviour. We review the methodology and propose possible adaptations of the research design for future studies.

Full Reference

Donna Schipper, "Effects of Visual Cues of Wind on Perception of Wind and Cycling Speed", Master's Thesis for the Media Technology programme, Leiden University (The Netherlands), 2016