Virtual Reality (VR) interfaces provide an immersive medium to interact with the digital world. Most VR interfaces require physical interactions using handheld controllers, but there are other alternative interaction methods that can support different use cases and users. Interaction methods in VR are primarily evaluated based on their usability, however, their differences in neurological and physiological effects remain less investigated. In this paper—along with other traditional qualitative matrices such as presence, affect, and system usability—we explore the neurophysiological effects—brain signals and electrodermal activity—of using an alternative facial expression interaction method to interact with VR interfaces. This form of interaction was also compared with traditional handheld controllers. Three different environments, with different experiences to interact with, were used—happy (butterfly catching), neutral (object picking), and scary (zombie shooting). Overall, we noticed an effect of interaction methods on the gamma activities in the brain and on skin conductance. For some aspects of presence, facial expressions outperformed controllers but controllers were found to be better than facial expressions in terms of usability.

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