'Out-Of-Body' Virtual Experiences
The “self-observation” view offered by PISCES has been identified in research studies as being similar to an "out-of-body experience" and as an innovative approach to VR, is attracting particular interest within the health and learning sectors for its potential to assist cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety disorders and learning disabilities;
"The feeling of an ‘‘out-of-body experience’’ or depersonalization while using this novel VE system deserves further study as it differs from the first-person perspective of conventional VR systems (watching the environment through goggles) and from the vicarious experience of computer games (identifying with a small avatar on the screen)". (Gega L. et al. 2013)
Read the latest research here:
The Psychology of Social Networking Vol. 2 - Virtual Environments With Chroma-Keying Video Capture In Psychological Therapy (Gega L. et al. 2015)
A Video-based Virtual Environment for Teaching Social Skills to Adolescents with Autism: In Search of Generalisation (Barry O. 2015)
A Comprehensive Cognitive Behavioral Program for Offenders - Trying and Practicing in Virtual Immersion (Langdon P. et al. 2015)
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking - Virtual Environments Using Video Capture for Social Phobia with Psychosis (Gega L. et al. 2013)
The "Rubber Hand Illusion"
In 1998, Neuroscientists Botvinick & Cohen were conducting research into how sight, touch and 'proprioception' (the sense of body position) combine to create a convincing feeling of body ownership, one of the foundations of self-consciousness.
Through this research they discovered an amazing illusion which could convince people that a rubber hand was their own. The now-famous “rubber hand illusion” was hugely important in understanding how bodily self-consciousness is anchored in both visual and tactile senses to create a sense of self-location and self-identification.
A group of Neuroscientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) have since extended the “rubber hand illusion” to create a "virtual out-of-body experience" using cameras to fool people into thinking they are standing somewhere else in a room.
PISCES builds on this approach by adding interactive virtual environments to the “self-observational” view, which like the "rubber hand illusion" is frequently described by participants as being ‘‘weird’’ or ‘‘surreal’’, to offer a unique opportunity for experiential learning and therapy.
EPFL Experimental Setups -