Psychological Model of the Process of Perception of Virtual Objects by Preschoolers



The study of children’s perception of computer models of objects (virtual objects), as different from objects of the physical world in their characteristics, is a urgent problem, but poorly researched. The goal of research is to develop a psychological model of the process of perception and recognition by preschoolers of a virtual 3D object when performing actions with it on the iPad screen. The developed model is empirically verified and makes it possible to explain the results obtained in the experiment to study the differences in the recognition of a virtual 3D object and its real prototype after perception under conditions of unimodal (visual, haptic) and bimodal (visual-haptic) perception. The experiment involved 115 preschool children (4—6 years old), divided into 5 randomized groups. It was found that during haptic recognition of a previously presented virtual object, children significantly more often chose a distractor figure that had the same dimension as the original object, but differed from it in the absence of shape details (φ * emp = 1.697, p <0.05). These results are explained by the specifics of the nature of interaction with virtual objects on the iPad screen (impact on the object without direct contact with it), as well as the discrepancy between expectations based on the experience of interacting with real objects.

General Information

Keywords: perception, haptic perception, visual perception, virtual object, procedural model of perception, preschoolers

Journal rubric: Psychology of Digital Reality

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The reported study was funded by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), project number 20-013-00308 А.

Received: 21.06.2021


For citation: Krylova S.G., Vodyakha Y.E. Psychological Model of the Process of Perception of Virtual Objects by Preschoolers. Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2022. Vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 70–81. DOI: 10.17759/exppsy.2022150206. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Barabanshchikov V.A., Nosulenko V.N. Sistemnost’. Vospriyatie. Obshchenie [Consistency. Perception. Communication]. Moscow: IP RAN Pabl., 2004. 480 p. (In Russ.).
  2. Bernshtejn N.A. O postroenii dvizhenij: Monografiya [About building movements: Monograph]. Moscow: Medical literature Pabl., 1947. 253 p. (In Russ.).
  3. Venger L.A. Razvitie vospriyatiya i sensornoe vospitanie v doshkol’nom vozraste: Avtoref. diss. … d-ra psihol. nauk. [Perception development and sensory education in preschool age. Dr. Sci (Psyhology) Thesis]. Moscow, 1968. (In Russ.).
  4. Vojskunskij A.E. Kiberpsihologicheskij podhod k analizu mul’tisensornoj integracii [Cyberpsychological approach to the analysis of multisensory integration]. Konsul’tativnaya psihologiya i psihoterapiya [Counseling psychology and psychotherapy], Vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 9—21. DOI: 10.17759/cpp.2019270302 (In Russ., abstr. In Engl.).
  5. Vojskunskij A.E., Men’shikova G.Ya. O primenenii sistem virtual’noj real’nosti v psihologii [On the application of virtual reality systems in psychology]. Vestnik Moskovskogo universiteta. Seriya 14. Psihologiya. [Moscow University Bulletin. Series 14. Psychology], 2008, no. 1, pp. 22—36. (In Russ., abstr. In Engl.).
  6. Vorob’eva V.P., Perepelkina O.S., Arina G.A. Issledovanie ekvivalentnosti illyuzii rezinovoj ruki v klassicheskom variante i v usloviyah virtual’noj real’nosti [Investigation of the equivalence of the rubber hand illusion in the classical version and in virtual reality]. Eksperimental’naya psihologiya [Experimental Psychology], 2020, no. 3, pp. 31—45. DOI: 10.17759/exppsy.2020130303 (In Russ., abstr. In Engl.).
  7. Logvinenko A.D. Zritel’noe vospriyatie prostranstva [Visual perception of space]. Moscow: MGU Pabl., 1981. 224 p. (In Russ.).
  8. Najsser U. Poznanie i real’nost’ [Cognition and reality]. Moscow: Progress Pabl., 1981. 232 p. (In Russ.).
  9. Sokolov E.N. Principy pererabotki informacii v nervnoj sisteme zhivotnyh i cheloveka [Principles of information processing in the nervous system of animals and humans]. Materialy mezhdunarodnoj konferencii «Aktual’nye problemy sovremennoj psihologii» (g. Moskva, sentyabr’ 1982 g.) [Materials of the international conference “Actual problems of modern psychology”] Moscow: MGU Pabl., 1983, pp. 93—96. (In Russ.).
  10. Bhargava A., Lucaites K.M.; Hartman L.S., et al. Revisiting affordance perception in contemporary virtual reality. Virtual Reality, 2020. Vol. 24 (4), pp. 713—724. DOI: 10.1007/s10055-020-00432-y
  11. Friston K.J. A theory of cortical responses. Philosophical transactions of the Royal society B Biological Sciences. 2005. Vol. 1456 (360), pp. 815—836. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2005.1622. URL: https://
  12. Gibson E.J. How perception really develops: A view from outside the system. In, Laberge & Samuels, (Eds.). Basic processes in reading: Perception and comprehension. P. 155—173.
  13. Kalagher H., Jones S.S. Developmental change in young children’s use of haptic information in a visual task: The role of hand movements. Journal of Experimental Child Psycholog, 2011. Vol. 108 (2), pp. 293—307. DOI: 10.1016/j.jecp.2010.09.004
  14. Krylova S.G., Vodyaha Yu.E. An Experimental Study of Perception by Preschoolers: The Computer Models of Real Objects as Three-Dimensional on the Screens of Touchscreen Devices. Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference «Digitalization of Education: History, Trends and Prospects». Atlantis Press, 2020. P. 424—431. DOI: 10.2991/assehr.k.200509.077
  15. Petrini K., Jones P.R., Smith L. Hearing Where the Eyes See: Children Use an Irrelevant Visual Cue When Localizing Sounds. Child Development. 2015. Vol. 85 (5), pp. 1449—1457. DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12397
  16. Schwarzer G., Kufer I., Wilkening F. Learning categories by touch: On the development of holistic and analytic processing. Memory and Cognition, 1999. Vol. 27, no. 5, pp. 868—877. DOI: 10.3758/bf03198539
  17. Shuwairi S.M. Haptic exploration of depicted and real objects by 9-month-old infants. Infant and Child Development. 2019. Vol. 28 (2), pp. 2125. DOI: 10.1002/icd.2125

Information About the Authors

Svetlana G. Krylova, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Institute of Psychology, Ural State Pedagogical University, Ekaterinburg, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Yuliya E. Vodyakha, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Institute of Psychology, Ural State Pedagogical University, Ekaterinburg, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



Total: 550
Previous month: 18
Current month: 8


Total: 191
Previous month: 8
Current month: 2