Human's Thermoception in Multi-Sensory IVE
3D Modeling and Research Study
This experimental research is a part of "Exploring Thermally-Driven Occupant Behavior in Immersive Virtual Environments to Enhance the Design and Engineering of Sustainable Buildings" research that was granted by the National Science Foundation (NSF), grant number 1805914.
Project Overview
Project Duration: January 2019- August 2019
My Role: Model Designer, Research Assistant​​​​​​​
The Goal: Explore the effectiveness of a multi-sensory IVE (combining an IVE within a climate chamber) for occupants' thermal comfort and thermally-driven behavior.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

IVE Experimental Session​​​​​​​

The experiments were designed to assess the capability of a multi-sensory IVE in replicating building occupants’ naturalistic thermoceptions and thermally-driven behavioral intentions.
In this study, participants experience heating and cooling exposures, as experimental stimuli, in a climate chamber. Each of the heating and cooling exposures were performed in two experimental conditions— in-situ and IVE, that is, 1) heating exposure in in-situ, 2) heating exposure in IVE, 3) cooling exposure in in-situ, 4) cooling exposure in IVE. 
The thermoception (thermal sensation, comfort, and acceptability) measurements, physiological responses (i.e., skin temperature, heart rate variability, and galvanic skin response), as well as the behavioral feedbacks in the multi-sensory IVE are compared with those of the in-situ experimental setting
Research Variables:
​​​​​​​• Thermoceptions (Thermal Sensation, Thermal Acceptability, and Thermal Comfort), 
• Physiological Responses (Tsk, HRV, GSR)
• Thermally-driven Behavioral Intention
• Contextual Factors: Age, Computer Skills and Experience with VR, Cybersickness, Immersive Tendencies, Seasonal Mismatch

Research Instruments and Body Sensors

Research Setting
Experiment Environment
The experiment was performed in a climate chamber located in the Engineering Laboratories Annex Building (ELAB) at the LSU campus. The climate chamber interior was the experiment environment throughout the study both for the in-situ and the IVE experiments. ​​​​​​​

Climate Chamber Plan

Climate Chamber Control System

Climate Chamber Testing Area

Climate Chamber Control Area

The total number of 28 undergraduate and graduate students, as well as a few staff members completed 4 experimental sessions. ​​​​​​​
Results of the project revealed that changing the indoor temperature between 65 oF and 85 oF has the same impact on participants’ thermoception, Tsk, HR, HRV, and GSR in both IVE and in-situ settings. Additionally, it showed that individuals’ thermoception differences between the IVE and the in-situ do not necessarily change their thermally-driven behavioral intentions. This finding suggests that even under different perceptions of the thermal environments, individuals may still select comparable thermally-driven behaviors.
The findings showed computer skills and experience with VR, and immersive tendency (entertainment) are positively correlated, and cybersickness (nausea) is negatively correlated with the consistency of the thermally-driven behavioral intentions.  
Lastly, the results of the mixed effect model confirmed the majority of the hypothesis testing findings, where IVE intervention could cause interference in the response variables of the study and where it could completely replicate the in-situ experimenting condition.​​​​​​​
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