Virtual Reality Toolbox

Toolbox for using virtual reality devices for neuropsychological assessments of visual performance


Virtual reality test of visual performance: Processing speed and working memory - oculusTVAwholeReport

On this page we provide the C++ code of our TVA-based (theory of visual attention, Bundesen, 1990) whole report assessment implemented on the virtual reality device Oculus Rift (download). The assessment meassures three components of visual processing capabilities: The visual processing speed, the threshold of conscious perception, and the capacity of visual working memory (for more information see Foerster, Poth, Behler, Botsch, & Schneider, 2016)



OculusTVA - main directory:

OculusTVA program: The folder contains the compiled version of the OculusTVA application. Use this if you want to try it out, see README.txt in that folder for details.

OculusTVA source: The folder contains the source code for the OculusTVA application.

lgl3: The folder contains OpenGL helper classes used for building the application.

libs: The folder contains libraries used for building the application.

lstd: The folder contains some general helper classes used for building the application.


Running the Application

If you have the necessary prerequisites (see below) installed, you can run the OculusTVAwholeReport application with the OculusTVA.exe in the OculusTVA program directory, see the README.txt in that folder for details.


Building the Application

If you want to experiment with the code yourself, there is a Visual Studio 2013 solution in the OculusTVA source directory. It should compile right away if the file structure is kept the same. However, you should have basic knowledge of C++ and know what you are doing. The program will compile into the OculusTVA source/Release/ directory, so don't worry about breaking the program.



You need a Windows PC. The program was tested on Windows 7 and 8.1, but Windows 10 should probably work as well.

Obviously you need an Oculus Rift. We used the Development Kit 2, because the Consumer Version was not released when we conducted the experiment. It might work with the Consumer Version as well, but we did not have the chance to try this yet.

You need to have an Oculus Runtime Environment installed ( You may need an older version (the version we used was SDK 0.4.3).

You need a Visual C++ 2013 Runtime ( This is most likely already installed.

Set the Monitor to disable Vsync (if you press F2 in the program, the framerate should be higher than 60. If you are sure Vsync is turned off and your framerate is nevertheless too low, your computer is too slow to run this version of the software - we are planning to release a new version that solves this problem).

Please note that VR Applications in general require a relatively powerful computer.


Citation and Contact

If you publish data obtained with oculusTVAwholeReport or if you use the software otherwise, please cite:

Foerster, R. M., Poth, C. H., Behler, C., Botsch, M., & Schneider, W. X. (2016). Using the virtual reality device Oculus Rift for neuropsychological assessment of visual processing capabilities. Scientific Reports, 6, 37016. doi:10.1038/srep37016 (LINK)

as well as

Behler, C., Poth, C. H., Foerster, R. M., Schneider, W. X., & Botsch, M. (2016). Virtual reality test of visual performance: Processing speed and working memory. Bielefeld University. doi:10.4119/unibi/2906585

In case of problems or questions contact Rebecca M. Foerster or Christian H. Poth



This research was supported by the Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology CITEC (EXC 277) at Bielefeld University, which is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).