Symposium: Virtual Realities, real experiences. Perspectives from behavioral & neuroscience studies

Physical and virtual reality exist side by side but also increasingly merge. This symposium addressed central notions like subjective experience and presence in real and in virtual worlds. Participants are world experts in this new and burgeoning fields.

They discussed how the potential of virtual worlds is currently harnessed by neuroscientists, for basic research and for societal applications, as well as for clinical use. Expected innovations and future perspectives of subjective experience were discussed in the light of increasing virtualization of our social interactions.


13:00 – 13:20 – Welcome by the Paris Institute for Advanced Study

Prof. Saadi Lahlou, Prof. Gretty Myrdal

Presentation of the topic of the meeting

Beatrice de Gelder, Paris IAS and Maastricht University, & Julie Grezes, ENS Paris

13:20 – 14:00 – Presence, body ownership and vicarious agency – the Illusions of Virtual Reality

Prof. Mel Slater, UB

14:00 – 14:45 – Face-to-face interaction matters

Prof. Antonia Hamilton, UCL

14:45 – 15:00 – A VR_EEG Study on automatic threat perception and behavioral control

Juanzhi Li, Brain and emotion lab, Maastricht University

15:00 – 15:15 – The Effect of body posture, outgroup affiliation, and proximity of virtual encounters on human freezing responses

Manuel Mello, SCN Lab, Sapienza University Rome

15:15 – 16:00 – My virtual self as you: agency and perspective in VR

Manuel Mello, SCN Lab, Sapienza University Rome

16:00 – 16:40 – Review of some major questions

Prof. Alain Berthoz, Collège de France

17:10 – 18:00 – General Discussion