Mimicking the effects of hallucinogenic substances, virtual reality specialists have designed a disembodiment experience

The effects obtained in terms of feelings of calm and well-being in the participants subjected to substances such as psilocybin could be obtained through virtual reality. A team has developed a disembodiment experiment for this purpose.

Your body appears to you as a silhouette of molecules, more and more diffuse. So diffuse that the particles mix with those of your closest neighbors, and all of you will soon see your bodies merge. You no longer know where your thing begins and ends, but it doesn’t matter, you feel good, at peace. Some psychiatric laboratory experiments in the United States (such as this one) use hallucinogenic substances such as psilocybin or LSD to study their effects on anxiety and depression. But the same effects appear to be obtained through a virtual reality experience, according to a study published in the journal Nature.

A team made up of psychology researchers from the University of Bristol (United Kingdom) and the Citius research center on intelligent technologies, from the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain), designed a “decoration” experiment experimented on collectively by four or five participants simultaneously, each wearing a virtual reality headset (in this case, HTC Vive Pro or Valve Index). This is not the first time virtual reality has been used to separate a user from their body shell. Mel Salter, a specialist in virtual incarnation at the University of Barcelona, ​​had thus designed a device in which the participant left her body, with the perspective of the fact.

An HTC Vive headset and haptic gloves

The great novelty of this immersion called Isness is the collective dimension. The device immerses people in the same virtual space where, arranged in a circle, they see each other. Still, in one version of the device, these participants are physically located in different countries. They are also equipped with haptic gloves designed to detect when the wearer forms a circle with their thumb and index or middle finger, which corresponds to the “mudra” position in Hindu culture. East[…]

More information at sciencesetavenir.fr

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