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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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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.