Seeing from other people’s point of view


Can virtual body swapping help fight racial prejudice?

In the wake of massive #BlackLivesMatter demonstrations, the ugly implications of racism in the United States have come to the foreground. Prejudice, whether conscious or unconscious, exists on a much wider scale than most of us would like to admit. In fact, you can glimpse into your own brain and measure its unconscious attitudes toward various objects and ideas by taking an implicit association test, or IAT. (The results might surprise you.) Virtual reality (VR) might help us overcome these implicit biases, according to a paper recently published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences. Researchers used VR to help people slip into the skin of an avatar and temporarily take on a new identity, cultivating cross-racial empathy along the way. The study used a variety of optical illusions and technology to hack the brain into thinking the body is something that it’s not. ….[READ]


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