Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Media Presence and Inner Presence: The Sense of Presence in Virtual Reality Technologies

By Dr. C. Coelho, Prof. J.G. Tichon, Dr. T.J. Hine, Dr. G.M. Wallis and Prof. G. Riva


Abstract. Presence is widely accepted as the key concept to be considered in any research involving human interaction with Virtual Reality (VR). Since its original description, the concept of presence has developed over the past decade to be considered by many researchers as the essence of any experience in a virtual environment. The VR generating systems comprise two main parts: a technological component and a psychological experience. The different relevance given to them produced two different but coexisting visions of presence: the rationalist and the psychological/ecological points of view. The rationalist point of view considers a VR system as a collection of specific machines with the necessity of the inclusion \ud of the concept of presence. The researchers agreeing with this approach describe the sense of presence as a function of the experience of a given medium (Media Presence). The main result of this approach is the definition of presence as the perceptual illusion of non-mediation produced by means of the disappearance of the medium from the conscious attention of the subject. At the other extreme, there \ud is the psychological or ecological perspective (Inner Presence). Specifically, this perspective considers presence as a neuropsychological phenomenon, evolved from the interplay of our biological and cultural inheritance, whose goal is the control of the human activity. \ud Given its key role and the rate at which new approaches to understanding and examining presence are appearing, this chapter draws together current research on presence to provide an up to date overview of the most widely accepted approaches to its understanding and measurement

Topics: Applied Cognitive Psychology, Philosophy of Mind, Human Computer Interaction
Publisher: IOS Press, Amsterdam
Year: 2006
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2001). A Cross-Media Presence Questionnaire: The ITC-Sense of Presence Inventory. Presence: Teleoperators, and Virtual Environments,
  2. (2005). A Place for Presence. Understanding the Human Involvement in Mediated Interactive Environments.
  3. (1995). A quantitative measure of telepresence.
  4. (2000). A Virtual Presence counter.
  5. Absorption, dissociation, locus of control and presence in virtual reality. Computers in Human Behavior,
  6. (1998). Aftereffects and sense of presence in virtual environments: Formulation of a research and development agenda. Report sponsored by the Life Sciences Division at NASA Headquarters.
  7. (1992). Being there: the subjective experience of presence.
  8. (2003). Breakdown analysis in Virtual Reality usability evaluation.
  9. (2001). Cognitive presence as a unified concept of virtual reality effectiveness.
  10. (1992). Defining virtual reality: dimensions determining telepresence.
  11. (1994). Depth of presence in virtual environments.
  12. (1992). Distal attribution and presence.
  13. (1999). Embodied presence in virtual environments. doi
  14. (2003). Emma Project Technical Report 1: Functional description of the measurement protocol. European Project "Engaging Media for Mental Health Applications" - EMMA (IST-2001-39192):
  15. (1994). From dreams to reality.
  16. (1999). Human factors evaluation techniques to aid understanding of virtual interfaces.
  17. (2002). Human performance in immersive virtual environments:Effects of exposure duration, user control, and scene complexity. Human Performance.
  18. (2004). Immersion and emotion: Their impact on the sense of presence. doi
  19. (1997). In search of equivalence classes in subjective scales of reality. In
  20. (2004). Manipulating presence influences the magnitude of virtual reality analgesia.
  21. (1999). Measuring presence: a response to the Witmer and Singer presence questionnaire. Presence: Teleoperators & Virtual Environments. doi
  22. (2002). Measuring sexual preferences in virtual reality: A pilot study.
  23. (1992). Musings on telepresence and virtual presence.
  24. (1994). Other faces of virtual reality. doi
  25. (1992). Presence and distal attribution: phenomenology, determinants, and assessment. Human vision, visual processing, and digital display III,
  26. (2000). Presence and Reality Judgment in virtual environments: A unitary construct?
  27. (2003). Presence and the Self: A cognitive neuroscience approach.
  28. (1999). Presence as an emotional experience. In
  29. (1998). Presence as being-in-the-world. doi
  30. (1998). Presence in virtual environments as a function of type of input device and display update rate, doi
  31. (2002). Presence in virtual environments. In doi
  32. (1996). Presence of mind: a reaction to Thomas Sheridan’s Further musings on the psychophysics of presence.
  33. (1996). Presence within virtual environments as a function of visual display parameters. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments,
  34. (2000). Presence: concept, determinants and measurement.
  35. (2001). Presence: is your heart in it?
  36. (1980). Psychophysical analysis of the “sensation of reality” induced by a visual wide-field display.
  37. (1999). Quantitative Measures of Presence in Virtual Environments:
  38. (2001). Research on presence in VR: a survey. Cyberpsychology and behavior, doi
  39. (2000). Resources for the study of presence: Presence explication,
  40. (1999). Speculations on the value of telepresence. doi
  41. (1977). Telling more than we know: Verbal reports on mental processes. Psychological Review. doi
  42. (1979). The ecological approach to visual perception. doi
  43. (2001). The effects of levels of immersion on memory and presence in virtual environments: A reality centered approach. doi
  44. (2001). The experience of presence: Factor analytic insights.
  45. (2005). The factor structure of the Presence Questionnaire. Presence: Teleoperators & Virtual Environments. doi
  46. (2003). The meaning of presence. doi
  47. (1993). The sense of presence within virtual environments: a conceptual framework. In
  48. (2001). Toward a more robust theory and measure of social presence: Review and suggested criteria. Presence: Teleoperators, and Virtual Environments, doi
  49. (1993). Understanding synthetic experience must begin with the analysis of ordinary perceptual experience.
  50. (2000). Using behavioral realism to estimate presence: a study of the utility of postural responses to motion stimuli. Presence: teleoperators and virtual environments, doi
  51. (1998). Virtual chess: meaning enhances user’s sense of presence in virtual environments.
  52. (2001). Virtual reality as an advanced imaginal system: A new experiential approach for counseling and therapy.
  53. (1992). Virtual reality. History, applications, technology and future.
  54. (1985). Visual perception physiology, psychology and ecology. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.