An immersive virtual environment (IVR) is a computer-generated surrounding projected on (stereoscopic) display. Observer’s viewpoint is tracked and imges are updated in real-time. This delivers a life-sized virtual reality within which a person can experience events and interact with representations of virtual objects or humans. Experiments take place in ”Cave” with three back-projected vertical screens (3 m×2.2 m) and a floor screen (from a ceiling mounted projector) (3 m×3 m). Previous works showed that people tend to respond realistically to virtual humans and to events within such environments. For example, IVR has been used in studies of social anxiety and behavioural problems, and paranoid individuals experience paranoid thoughts in the company of virtual characters.
Our research is carried out in healthy subjects and in people with reduced mobility. Currently we are focusing on the EEG correlates of action observation and how virtual reality can be used to study body representation.