Stanford researchers examine the psychology of virtual reality

[MUSIC] Standford University.>>The Virtual Human Interaction Lab is a
human subjects lab. So [SOUND] we seek to use virtual reality
as a technology to understand, how it interacts
with the human perceptual system. The mission of the lab is to study the
psychology of virtual reality. So what happens to the brain when you’re
inside these virtual environments, how can you use
virtual reality to change people’s behavior, how can you build
applications that leverage virtual reality to help change people’s attitudes
towards the environment, towards health. How can you use virtual reality to make
the world a better place. A recent thesis by Eric Brockbank who did
his master’s thesis in Symbolic Systems in the lab, he wanted to ask the question,
how do body movements facilitate learning?>>When someone has to problem solve,
typically, if you’re doing a math equation on a piece of paper, you would kind of use
your pencil and use your hands to kind of figure it out and work it
out, but in virtual reality you can actually use your full
body to, to interact and work things out. So we call this embodied cognition. It’s this idea that, I can walk around and
I can gesture and use my hands in kind of more
interactive way.>>In his experiment, subjects entered
virtual reality and they looked down and they saw their
body. Except we could manipulate whether or not
their arms moved virtually and so Eric was able to
answer the unique contribution of seeing your body
moved compared experiencing your body move in terms of how you solve
math.>>My research actually is going to focus
on how immersive is enough. What are the different factors of virtual
reality technology and how can we combine them to create a feeling of
this feels real? What exactly do we need in order to, to
trick your brain into feeling what we call presence which is this idea that there’s virtual stimulus feels like real
physical stimulus. There’s suddenly a, a huge interest in how
we can use virtual reality not just as an
entertainment medium, but also as a medium for things
like education, for social communication, for
even things like cognitive therapy. Survived.>>The applications for virtual reality as it becomes more accessible, more
affordable, are infinite. And so, understanding what that
relationship is like, in both the positive and negative sense, is going to be very
important over the next ten years.>>For more, please visit us at