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Researchers use virtual-reality avatars to create 'out-of-body' experience

February 18, 2011 | Kendal Kirby

[From The Guardian; more information is available in an article in The Financial Times, which includes a 2:37 minute long video, and at the web site of EPFL Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience]

Olaf Blanke_conducts_experiment.jpg[Image: Olaf Blanke conducts experiment to understand the way the brain represents the body by combining VR induced illusions and brain signal readings to better understand the cognitive basis for spatial representation.]

Researchers use virtual-reality avatars to create 'out-of-body' experience

Volunteers experienced the virtual bodies as if they were their own, with possible applications in computer games or to transport people digitally to other locations

Alok Jha, science correspondent, Thursday 17 February 2011

In the film Avatar, explorers on the planet Pandora transmit their minds into alternative bodies. Now scientists have come a step closer to recreating the experience in the lab.

They have successfully "projected" people into digital avatars that can move around a virtual environment. The participants experienced the digital body as if it were their own, even if the virtual humans were of the opposite sex.


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