DeFINE: Delayed Feedback based Immersive Navigation Environment for Studying Goal-Directed Human Navigation

Kshitij Tiwari, Ville Kyrki, Allen Cheung, Naohide Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


With the advent of consumer-grade products for presenting an immersive virtual environment (VE), there is a growing interest in utilizing VEs for testing human navigation behavior. However, preparing a VE still requires a high level of technical expertise in computer graphics and virtual reality, posing a significant hurdle to embracing the emerging technology. To address this issue, this paper presents Delayed Feedback-based Immersive Navigation Environment (DeFINE), a framework that allows for easy creation and administration of navigation tasks within customizable VEs via intuitive graphical user interfaces and simple settings files. Importantly, DeFINE has a built-in capability to provide performance feedback to participants during an experiment, a feature that is critically missing in other similar frameworks. To show the usability of DeFINE from both experimentalists’ and participants’ perspectives, a demonstration was made in which participants navigated to a hidden goal location with feedback that differentially weighted speed and accuracy of their responses. In addition, the participants evaluated DeFINE in terms of its ease of use, required workload, and proneness to induce cybersickness. The demonstration exemplified typical experimental manipulations DeFINE accommodates and what types of data it can collect for characterizing participants’ task performance. With its out-of-the-box functionality and potential customizability due to open-source licensing, DeFINE makes VEs more accessible to many researchers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2668-2688
Number of pages21
JournalBehavior Research Methods
Issue number6
Early online date23 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Virtual reality
  • Software
  • Closed-loop
  • Locomotion
  • Gamification
  • Unity


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