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Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
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ScienceShot: A Virtual Reality Body Swap
12 May 2010 5:01 pm
In the virtual world, seeing is no longer just believing—it's being. In a new study, volunteers donned virtual reality goggles that put them in the body of a teenage girl in a virtual living room. The girl's mother stroked her on the shoulder while researchers simultaneously stroked the volunteers. Then, suddenly, the virtual mother slapped the girl—and the volunteers "felt" it. Their heart rates rapidly decelerated, a normal, initial response to a threat, even though there was no slap to their real faces. This is a sign that the subjects had begun to "own" their virtual body, the team reports today in PLoS ONE. The effect was much more powerful if the volunteers had a first-person perspective, looking out of the eyes of the girl, rather than hovering above her in a third-person perspective. As virtual games become more immersive, designers may have to keep health risks in mind.
More on virtual illusions:
See more ScienceShots.