Virtual reality: a tool for investigating camouflage

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstract

78 Downloads (Pure)


Disruptive camouflage utilises high-contrast patches, typically positioned at the margins of an object to impede the detection and/or recognition of a perceiver. To date, the predominant methods for examining camouflage strategies are computer-based (i.e., detection experiments), field-based (e.g., survival analyses) and camouflage choice experiments using dynamically coloured organisms (e.g., cephalopods). Recent advances in virtual reality (VR) technology present the opportunity to create novel environments for testing camouflage theory. VR can combine the control of lab-based research with the ecological validity of field-based studies. Here, we develop an experimental paradigm that enables camouflage testing within a virtual reality environment. The environment comprised a spherical target that can be wrapped with different camouflage patterns and a domed background, upon which a natural image can be projected. Participants were positioned within the centre of the dome and were tasked with finding and shooting at targets randomly positioned across a bounded range within the environment. We manipulated the luminance contrast (0–2 steps of 2.5 L *) of disruptive and edge-enhancement (EE) components of the camouflage patterning to examine their impact on participant response time. Having high, but not extreme, contrast resulted in increased camouflage effectiveness. The EE component had no effect independently but interacted with the DC component. Specifically, when using EE alongside DC, a lower contrast EE component is more effective than a higher contrast EE component. Our results demonstrate that VR is a viable research tool for testing camouflage theory.
Original languageEnglish
Article number17
Pages (from-to)9-9
Number of pages1
JournalVision (Switzerland)
Issue number4
Early online date20 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2022
EventScottish Vision Group 2022 Meeting - University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Apr 20223 Apr 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Virtual reality: a tool for investigating camouflage'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this