Virtually-Extended Proprioception:

Providing Spatial Reference in VR through an Appended Virtual Limb

2020.04 | CHI 2020


Selecting targets directly in the virtual world is difficult due to
the lack of haptic feedback and inaccurate estimation of egocentric distances. Proprioception, the sense of self-movement and body position, can be utilized to improve virtual target selection by placing targets on or around one’s body. However, its effective scope is limited closely around one’s body. We explore the concept of virtually-extended proprioception by appending virtual body parts mimicking real body parts to users’ avatars, to provide spatial reference to virtual targets.
Our studies suggest that our approach facilitates more efficient target selection in VR as compared to no reference or using an everyday object as reference. Besides, by cultivating users’ sense of ownership on the appended virtual body part, we can further enhance target selection performance. The effects of transparency and granularity of the virtual body part on target selection performance are also discussed.


Appended limb; Spatial reference; Target selection; Virtual reality; Proprioception


Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Supplemental Material

Project Info



Yang Tian, Yuming Bai, Shengdong Zhao, Chi-Wing Fu, Tianpei Yang, and Pheng Ann Heng