Johnson, Eric Arthur. M.S., Purdue University, August, 2010. A Study of the Effects of Immersion on Short-term Spatial Memory. Major Professor: Nicoletta Adamo-Villani. The goal of the study was to determine whether the level of immersion of a virtual environment has a significant effect on the user’s short term spatial memory. Two previous virtual environment development projects are reviewed: the Muscatatuck Virtual Tour and the 21st Century World Future City (Adamo- Villani, et al. 2009, 2010)). These projects show the viability of producing a virtual environment and a partially immersive, low-cost virtual reality system ,i.e. a Fish- Tank system (The system was used for the purpose of the study). Previous research is analyzed to demonstrate the viability of using virtual reality as a testing tool for measuring the effects of immersion on cognitive processes. Results of the study show that there is a significant difference in spatial memory when the level of immersion changes.


Fish-tank, virtual reality, 3d environments, real-time, 3d for web, spatial memory, immersion

Date of this Version



Computer Graphics Technology

Department Head

James L. Mohler

Month of Graduation


Year of Graduation



Master of Science

Head of Graduate Program

James L. Mohler

Advisor 1 or Chair of Committee

Nicoletta Adamo-Villani

Advisor 2

LaVerne Abe Harris

Advisor 3

Bedrich Benes