Embodiment, presence, and their intersections

Nicolas Nostadt, David A. Abbink, Oliver Christ, Philipp Beckerle

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
152 Downloads (Pure)


Subjective experience of human control over remote, artificial, or virtual limbs has traditionally been investigated from two separate angles: presence research originates from teleoperation, aiming to capture to what extent the user feels like actually being in the remote or virtual environment. Embodiment captures to what extent a virtual or artificial limb is perceived as one's own limb. Unfortunately, the two research fields have not interacted much. This survey intends to provide a coherent overview of the literature at the intersection of these two fields to further that interaction. Two rounds of systematic research in topic-related data bases resulted in 414 related articles, 14 of which satisfy the deliberately strict inclusion criteria: 2 theoretical frameworks that highlighted intersections and 12 experimental studies that evaluated subjective measures for both concepts. Considering the surrounding literature as well, theoretical and experimental potential of embodiment and presence are discussed and suggestions to apply them in teleoperation research are derived. While increased publication activity is observed between 2016 and 2018, potentially caused by affordable virtual reality technologies, various open questions remain. To tackle them, human-in-the-loop experiments and three guiding principles for teleoperation system design (mechanical fidelity, spatial bodily awareness, and self-identification) are suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Article number28
Number of pages19
JournalACM Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Embodiment
  • human-robot interaction
  • presence
  • teleoperation


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