Our work explores the potential in turning the concept of presence “inside-out.” We theorize a relationship between current multidimensional conceptualizations of presence, theories which utilize predictive processing and comparative models to explain the underlying cognitive
structure of presence, and evidence which suggests that past experience with both the content of media and the media providing the content are influential factors in overall felt presence. We propose a conceptualization of presence not as a unified “sense of being there”, but rather
as a “sense of feeling real” as the result of an automatic perceptual process. We consider an emergent metanarrative for presence, or lack thereof, as an alignment of external stimuli with an internal set of schemata. Lastly, we explore possible new research questions and discuss
the implications of our proposed model for both the design of virtual experiences and the measurement of presence.