Free

Virtual and Robotic Embodiment - from Neuroscience to Virtual Reality and R...

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time

Location

Location

Sala Gran de la Facultat de Geografia i Història

Facultat de Geografia i Història Universitat de Barcelona

Carrer de Montalegre, 6

08001 Barcelona

Spain

View Map

Event description

Description

SYMPOSIUM WEB PAGE AND PROGRAM

Virtual Reality is normally used to give you the illusion of being in another place. You put on the Head-Mounted Display (HMD) and suddenly you are somewhere else – not in your home, office, or laboratory but possibly standing high on a ledge overlooking a city. This is usually shown by a sudden exclamation (“Wow!”) as you look around and take in your new reality. However, another amazing and even more profound aspect of VR is that you can change not simply where you are but also who you are. This relies on the process of ’embodiment’. Normally in VR when you look down towards yourself you will see nothing – be invisible – except perhaps for some disembodied hands based on tracking the movements of your real hands. However, embodiment involves the visual substitution of your real body by a virtual one, that can be programmed to move in correspondence and synchrony with your actual movements. Moreover, when you look in a virtual mirror this can reflect your virtual body and your real movements, so that you see not your real, but your virtual self in the mirror. It has been shown many times in the research literature that the type of body you have can influence your physiology, behaviour, attitudes, and cognition. For example, it has been shown that embodying adults in the body of a child will lead to their overestimation of object sizes, and self-identification with child-like characteristics. Embodiment of someone with low self esteem in the body of Einstein will improve their scores on a cognitive task. An out-of-body experience in VR after being embodied in a virtual body can reduce fear of death.

As well as embodiment in a virtual body it is possible to become embodied in a robot body. Wearing a HMD the participant would see through cameras mounted in the eye position of a remote robot. As the participant moves so the movements are transmitted to the remote robot so that the robot moves the same. So from the point of view of the participant it is as if their consciousness has been transferred to the robot body, which might be thousands of kilometres distant. This is also possible to do with the robot body controlled through a brain-computer interfaceand even with neurofeedback through fMRI.

This symposium will explore these issues in depth. The symposium is a follow-on from the European Union funded Future and Emerging Technologies Integrated Project Virtual Embodiment and Robotic Re-Embodiment (VERE), which consisted of 14 partners across Europe 2010-2015. The research was concerned with dissolving the boundary between the human body and surrogate representations in immersive virtual reality and physical reality using robots. Dissolving the boundary means that people have the illusion that their surrogate representation is their own body, and act and have thoughts that correspond to this.

The research consisted of computer science (virtual reality), biomedical engineering including brain-computer interfaces, neurofeedback, the neuroscience of body representation. It also resulted in a number of applications including psychological rehabilitation, and applications for patients (tetraplegia). The research was also concerned with the underlying ethics of these developments.

The symposium will bring together project Principle Investigators, research students and postdocs who were on the project, and will consiste of a series of presentations on the different project themes.

A number of special invited speakers are also included who were not in the original project.

SYMPOSIUM WEB PAGE AND PROGRAM

Share with friends

Date and Time

Location

Sala Gran de la Facultat de Geografia i Història

Facultat de Geografia i Història Universitat de Barcelona

Carrer de Montalegre, 6

08001 Barcelona

Spain

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved