Immersive virtual reality: A telescope for human behavior studies?
The history of science includes many examples whereby a technological invention revolutionized a whole discipline, such as the telescope in astronomy or the microscope in biology. Can VR and related technologies foster such a revolution in human behavior research? Our view is that VR indeed has the potential to revolutionize experimental psychology and human neuroscience, but a key prerequisite is behavioral realism; in other words, it is crucial to understand to what extent people behave in our VR scenarios "as if they were real". Once we understand behavioral realism, a wealth of opportunities opens up for studying human behavior in situations beyond reality. The talk will provide an overview of recent human behavior research in VR, around these concepts.