Researchers from the University of Sussex’s Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, have been studying a fundamental scientific problem: the question of how consciousness happens. The standard experimental setup of cognitive experiments used to involve seating someone in a dark room, at a desk, and administering a computer-based test. These experiments, although valid, are not what scientists call ecologically valid.
Now, researchers use various different experimental tools, ranging from strobe lights to psychedelic drugs. In recent years, researchers have been experimenting with virtual reality. They are using VR to manipulate the way we experience being ourselves, the experience of embodiment and body ownership. The potential for VR in neuroscience is enormous and is just getting going. In five years, it’s going to be game changing.