Virtual Reality has typically been used for the illusory transformation of location - to place a person in a different, digitally generated place, to take part in the action there. While maintaining a strong interest in this, especially regarding social scenarios, my recent interest has focussed on using VR to transform the self. This work, inspired by and contributing to the field of body ownership illusions as studied in cognitive neuroscience points to an additional power of VR: Change the self not just the place.
I'm Distinguished Investigator at the University of Barcelona in the Department of Clinical Psychology I also an active member of the Institute of Neurosciences. I was at ICREA 2006-2017. I am co-Director of the Event Lab (Experimental Virtual Environments for Neuroscience and Technology). My background is computer science in the field of computer graphics and virtual reality. I was at the Department of Computer Science at UCL where I founded the Virtual Environments and Computer Graphics group. My research in the UK was supported mainly by the EPSRC, and in Barcelona by the EU FP7 and Horizon programmes and European Research Council Advanced Grants. I was Immersive Fellow with London's Digital Catapult 2017 and 2018. I'm a Research Award Winner of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 2021, and was elected to the IEEE VGTC Virtual Reality Academy in 2022. I am a co-Founder of Virtual Bodyworks S.L.
HIGHLIGHTED RESEARCH PROJECTS
We investigate how some of the greatest global environmental challenges, climate change, urbanisation, and psychosocial stress caused by the COVID19-pandemic affect brain health during the lifespan, and develop interventions aimed at prevention and early intervention. Virtual Reality is used for simulation and also therapeutically.
The GuestXR project aims to create an immersive online social space through extended reality, where the focus is on the existence of a machine learning agent called “The Guest”, which can facilitate interaction between participants to help them achieve their intended goals.
Moments in Time in Immersive Virtual Environments (MoTIVE) ERC Advanced Grant
2018 - 2023