Timothy McNamara



Professor and Vice Provost


T.McNamara at vanderbilt.edu


Vanderbilt University, Psychology



Embodied Self-Motion Illusions in VR

How can we provide humans with a believable sensation of being in and moving through computer-generated environments (like VR, computer games, or movies) without the need for costly and cumbersome motion platforms or large free-space walking areas? That is, how can we "cheat intelligently" by providing a compelling, embodied self-motion illusion ("vection") without the need for full physical mo...

Navigational Search in VR: Do we need to walk?

Do we need full physical motions for effective navigation through Virtual Environments? Recent results suggest that translations might not be as important as previously believed, which could enable us to reduce overall simulation effort and cost Physical rotations and translations are the basic constituents of navigation behavior, yet there is mixed evidence about their relative importance for co...

Spatial Cognition in VR vs. real world

Comparing spatial perception/cognition in real versus immersive virtual environments: it doesn't compare! Virtual reality (VR) is increasingly used in psychological research and applications – but does VR really afford natural human spatial perception/cognition, which is a prerequisite for effective spatial behavior? Using judgment of relative direction (JRD) tasks, Riecke & McNamara (Psychonom...


Riecke, B. E., Feuereissen, D., Rieser, J. J., & McNamara, T. P. (2012). Self-Motion Illusions (Vection) in VR – Are They Good For Anything? In IEEE Virtual Reality 2012 (pp. 35–38). Orange County, CA, USA. https://doi.org/10.1109/VR.2012.6180875
Riecke, B. E., Feuereissen, D., Rieser, J. J., & McNamara, T. P. (2011). Spatialized sound enhances biomechanically-induced self-motion illusion (vection). In Proceedings of the 2011 annual conference on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 2799–2802). Vancouver, Canada. https://doi.org/10.1145/1978942.1979356
Riecke, B. E., & McNamara, T. P. (2007). An integrative theory of spatial orientation in the immediate environment. In Proceedings of the 29th Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci) (p. 1845).
Riecke, B., Bodenheimer, B., McNamara, T., Williams, B., Peng, P., & Feuereissen, D. (2010). Do We Need to Walk for Effective Virtual Reality Navigation? Physical Rotations Alone May Suffice. In C. Hölscher, T. Shipley, M. Olivetti Belardinelli, J. Bateman, & N. Newcombe (Eds.), Spatial Cognition VII (Vol. 6222, pp. 234–247). Springer Berlin / Heidelberg. Retrieved from doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-14749-4_21
Peng, P., Riecke, B. E., Williams, B., McNamara, T. P., & Bodenheimer, B. (2008). Navigation modes in virtual environments: walking vs. joystick. In Proceedings of the 5th symposium on Applied perception in graphics and visualization (p. 192). https://doi.org/http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1394281.1394321
Riecke, B. E., & McNamara, T. P. (2007). Spatial Orientation in the Immediate Environment: How Can the Different Theories be Reconciled? Poster presented at the 10. Tübingen Perception Conference (TWK), Tübingen, Germany.
Riecke, B. E., & McNamara, T. P. (2007). Similarity Between Room Layouts Causes Orientation-Specific Sensorimotor Interference in To-Be-Imagined Perspective Switches. Poster presented at the 48th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society (Psychonomics).
Bodenheimer, B., Feuereissen, D., Williams, B., Peng, P., McNamara, T., & Riecke, B. (2009). Locomotion for navigation in virtual environments: Walking, turning, and joystick modalities compared. Journal of Vision, 9(8), 1126. https://doi.org/10.1167/9.8.1126
Riecke, B. E., Feuereissen, D., Rieser, J. J., & McNamara, T. P. (2014). Can self-motion illusions (circular vection) facilitate spatial updating? Poster presented at the Spatial Cognition 2014 Conference, Bremen, Germany. Retrieved from http://conference.spatial-cognition.de/SC2014/
Riecke, B. E., Feuereissen, D., Rieser, J. J., & McNamara, T. P. (2015). More than a Cool Illusion? Functional Significance of Self-Motion Illusion (Circular Vection) for Perspective Switches. Frontiers in Psychology, 6(1174). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01174