Embodied action in virtual reality – an account of the virtual and physical human body

Dissertation

The emergence and rapid development of technologies that radically change the character of human-computer interaction, most notably that of Virtual Reality (VR) and Telerobotics, call for new approaches in understanding the way the human body operates and communicates within complex informational systems. These are technologies that address the body directly, interacting and encroaching on its sense perception, and therefore should extend and challenge our definitions of bodily self-consciousness.

This text presents ideas from the general literature on embodiment from phenomenology, neuroscience, and psychology. By analysing the biological and virtual structures of everyday perception and subjective thought, it hopes to bring closer the idea of “real life” in virtual space. To that end, the main question this text will try to address is: Is it possible to not only be able to control, act and sense with an avatar but literally feel ‘incarnated’ in its reality?

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