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1st "Virtual Reality as a Transformative Technology to Develop Empathy" Conference.
By the "empathic Reactive MediaLab Coalition" (eRMLab Coalition).
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Tuesday, June 19 • 12:45pm - 2:15pm
“Close Encounters with Your Virtual Self” (English)

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Perception is an active process, where we use our whole bodies to perceive – turning the head and body, accommodating and moving the eyes, reaching out, bending down, peering around an object, and so on. To the extent that these natural sensorimotor contingencies are afforded for perception in virtual spaces, so we will have the illusion of being there (in virtual reality).

Of particular interest in virtual reality is what happens when you look towards yourself.
If it has been so programmed, you will see a life-sized virtual body that is coincident in space with your (wholly occluded) real body, and which can move synchronously and correspondingly with your movements. In other words the virtual body substitutes your real one. You will likely and quickly have the perceptual illusion that the virtual body is your own (even though you know that it is not).

In this talk I will explore three illusions of virtual reality: the illusion of being in the virtual place, the illusion that what is happening is real, and the illusion of body ownership.  I will give examples of how body ownership over a body that is quite different to your own (e.g., age, race, gender, size) can lead to changes in physiology, behaviour, attitudes and cognition. I will give examples of where these illusions have been used to positive effect such as in clinical psychology, and a particular example of self-to-self interaction.

Mel Slater is Director of the Event Lab (Experimental Virtual Environments for Neuroscience and Technology). He has been Professor of Virtual Environments at University College London since 1997 in the Department of Computer Science. He has been involved in research in virtual reality since the early 1990s, and has been first supervisor of 38 PhDs in graphics and virtual reality since 1989. In 2005 he was awarded the Virtual Reality Career Award by IEEE Virtual Reality ‘In Recognition of Seminal Achievements in Engineering Virtual Reality.’  He has been involved in and led several international projects in this field. He held a European Research Council Advanced Grant TRAVERSE 2009-2015 and has recently started a second Advanced Grant MoTIVE 2018-2022. He is Field Editor of Frontiers in Robotics and AI, and Chief Editor of the Virtual Environments section. He has contributed to the scientific study of virtual reality and to technical development of this field including its applications in clinical psychology and the cognitive neuroscience of how the brain represents the body. His publications can be seen on http://publicationslist.org/melslater. He is a Founder of the company Virtual Bodyworks S.L.

Speakers
avatar for Mel Slater, PhD.

Mel Slater, PhD.

Director, Experimental Virtual Environments for Neuroscience and Technology (eventLAB). Universidad de Barcelona (UB)
Mel Slater is Director of the eventLAB (Experimental Virtual Environments for Neuroscience and Technology). He has been Professor of Virtual Environments at University College London since 1997 in the Department of Computer Science. He has been involved in research in virtual reality... Read More →


Tuesday June 19, 2018 12:45pm - 2:15pm
Sala Exterior La Cristalera