Restricting the Vertical and Horizontal Extent of the Field-of-View: Effects on Manoeuvring Performance

Sander Edward Michiel Jansen1, 2, *, Alexander Toet2, Nicolaas Johannes Delleman3
1 Center for Advanced Gaming and Simulation, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
2 TNO Human Factors, Soesterberg, The Netherlands
3 Faculty of Movement Science, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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Jansen et al.; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Center for Advanced Gaming and Simulation, Utrecht University, The Netherlands; Tel: +31 62 222 96 65, +31 30 253 54 90; Fax: +31 30 253 46 19; E-mail:


It is known that Field-of-view restrictions affect distance estimation, postural equilibrium, and the ability to control heading. These are all important factors when manoeuvring on foot through complex structured environments. Although considerable research has been devoted to the horizontal angular extent of the Field-of-View (FoV), rather less attention has been paid to the vertical angle. The present study investigated the effects of both vertical and horizontal FoV restriction on manoeuvring performance and head movement while traversing an obstacle course consisting of three different types of obstacles. A restriction of both the horizontal and vertical angle of the visual field resulted in increased time needed to traverse the course. In addition, the extent of head movement during traversal was affected by vertical, but not horizontal viewing restriction. Furthermore, it was investigated if performance could be improved by altering the orientation of the visual field instead of its dimensions. The results do not indicate this. The findings of this study can be used to formulate requirements for the selection and development of field-of-view limiting devices, such as head-mounted displays and night-vision goggles.

Keywords: Field-of-view, obstacle avoidance, locomotion, head-mounted displays.