Neuroscience of Virtual Reality
Prof. Giuseppe Riva, PhD, is a full professor of General Psychology and Communication Psychology and Director of the ICE-NET Lab at the Catholic University of Milan, Italy.
His main research interests concern the theoretical and applied use of different advanced technologies (i.e., Virtual Reality, smartphones, 360° technologies) to promote and support positive change among healthy and pathological populations.
Recently, the main contribution of his research work is related to the impact of mediated technologies on the user’s experience. Through the analysis of the cognitive processes involved in simulated realities.
The exciting keynote will focus on his research on Neuroscience of virtual reality.
Different trials and reviews suggest that VR compares favorably to existing treatments in anxiety disorders, eating and weight disorders, and pain management, with long-term effects that generalize to the real world. But why is VR so effective? Here, the following answer is suggested: VR shares with the brain the same basic mechanism: embodied simulations. According to neuroscience, to regulate and control the body in the world effectively, the brain creates an embodied simulation of the body in the world used to represent and predict actions, concepts, and emotions. VR works in a similar way: the VR experience tries to predict the sensory consequences of an individual’s movements, providing to him/her the same scene he/she will see in the real world. To achieve this, the VR system, like the brain, maintains a model (simulation) of the body and the space around it. The keynote will also discuss the possibility of altering the experience of the body and facilitating cognitive modeling/change by designing targeted virtual environments able to simulate both the external and the internal world/body.