Losing track of time in virtual reality is all too easy, and now scientists are finding out why.
Playing video games in VR can cause time to seem compressed, according to new research. The study found that participants who played the virtual reality version of a game first played for an average of 72.6 seconds longer before feeling that five minutes had passed than students who started on a conventional monitor.
“Research suggests that perception depends on bodily signals such as our heart rate,” Nick Davidenko, a scientist at the University of Santa Cruz and one of the study’s authors, said in an email interview. “In virtual reality, we often don't have a visual representation of our own body, and this lack of body awareness may cause us to miss cues that signal the passage of time.”