Why virtual reality is a ‘far from perfect’ tool for studying how the brain works

brain machine interface fda
Image: FDA

Virtual Reality (VR) is not just for video games. Researchers use it in studies of brains from all kinds of animals… .This has become a powerful tool in neuroscience, because it has many advantages for researchers that allow them to answer new questions about the brain.

If you’ve ever experienced VR, you know that it is still quite far from the real world. And this has consequences for how your brain responds to it.

One of the issues with VR is the limited number of senses it works on. Often the environment is only projected on a screen, giving visual input, without the subject getting any other inputs, such as touch or smell.

Related article:  Viewpoint: Protecting NFL players' brains demands 'unbiased researchers with good intentions'

We know that we should be critical when interpreting results from neuroscience studies that use VR. Although VR is a great tool, it is far from perfect, and it affects the way our brain acts. We should not readily accept conclusions from VR studies, without first considering how the use of VR in that study may have affected those conclusions. Hopefully, as our methods get more sophisticated, the differences in brain activity between VR and the real world will also become smaller.

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend