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Mariana Magalhães has a master’s degree in multimedia from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, where she is currently pursuing the Ph.D. degree in Digital Media. Her research interests include immersive environments and multisensory virtual reality.



  • Name

    Mariana Oliveira Magalhães
  • Role

    External Student
  • Since

    01st November 2021
  • Nationality

  • Contacts



Measuring users' emotional responses in multisensory virtual reality: a systematic literature review

Magalhaes, M; Coelho, A; Melo, M; Bessa, M;


Virtual reality and emotions have become inseparable concepts over the past few years, supported by the increasing number of studies relating them. However, these studies' methodologies are often poorly justified or dependent on the authors' subjective definition of emotion and its classification. Moreover, frequently, these studies only consider two stimuli, specifically audiovisual, despite being known the relevance of including a greater variety of sensory channels to improve the relationship between the individual and the virtual environment. So, to address these gaps, and considering the importance of multisensory stimulation, this paper aims to review the methods and instruments found in the literature regarding the analysis of the users' emotions in virtual reality. Also, we provide an overview of the main limitations of such studies. Little information can be found in the literature regarding the connection between the input stimulus and the users' emotional responses. This corroborates the difficulty in creating and evaluating immersive virtual experiences when stimulating more than two human senses, typically audiovisual. Nevertheless, we address some clues on the impact of visual, auditory, haptic, smell, and taste elements to trigger specific emotions. Also, we address the association between the research area and the method used. Finally, the main gaps and challenges are discussed. We expect that the combination of these results acts as guidelines for designing richer multisensory virtual experiences. Moreover, we intend to contribute to future research on emotions-based immersive virtual reality by providing a review of the most suitable methodologies and instruments for specific contexts.


The Relationship Between Cybersickness, Sense of Presence, and the Users' Expectancy and Perceived Similarity Between Virtual and Real Places

Magalhaes, M; Melo, M; Bessa, M; Coelho, AF;


This paper aims to explore the impact of sense of presence and cybersickness on the users' expectancy and perceived similarity between virtual and the corresponding real environments. Two virtual reality setups were tested (non-immersive and immersive) to achieve further conclusions. This research encompassed a quantitative analysis using data collection based on questionnaires, applied to a sample of 45 participants. A virtual experience was conducted (to explore users' cybersickness and sense of presence), followed by a visit to the actual real sites (to determine the degree of perceived similarity between the virtual and the corresponding real environment and if their expectations were fulfilled). Our results show a positive correlation between the global sense of presence and perceived similarity and users' expectancy for the non-immersive VR setup. A positive correlation was also found between the global cybersickness on both perceived similarity and users' expectancy for the immersive VR setup. Implications of such results for virtual tourism are discussed.


Age and level of education impact on expectancy and perceived similarity between virtual and real touristic environments

Magalhaes, M; Melo, M; Coelho, A; Bessa, M;


This paper focuses on the combination of 360-degree video and virtual reality for improving the touristic experience. Three scenarios were considered in this study: two 360-degree video visualizations, each one related to different touristic places, both presented in an immersive way, followed by an actual visit to those places. By comparing these situations, it was intended to determine the degree of perceived similarity between the virtual and the corresponding real sites, and to analyze if the users' expectancy was fulfilled. This research comprised a qualitative analysis using data collection based on questionnaires, which were applied to a sample consisted of 45 participants. The independent variables of the study were the participants' age and level of education. The results show no statistically significant impact between the two independent variables (users' age and level of education) and perceived similarity and users' expectancy. Our findings suggest that virtual tourism can act as an efficient promotion tool, considering that users' perceived destination image is not compromised regarding their age or level of education.