From virtual to real body: Virtual reality as embodied technology

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The emerging approach of "embodied cognition" is redefining the nature of cognition: cognition is no longer a set of formal operations on abstract symbols, but rather a situated embodied activity. On one side, the characteristics of our perceptual and motor systems play a foundational role in concept definition and in rational inference. On the other side, practical activity plays a role in giving meaning to the particular experiences of, and the representations generated by, a given individual agent. Within this framework, virtual reality (VR) can be considered an embodied technology with potential that is wider than the simple reproduction of real worlds. By designing meaningful embodied activities, VR may be used to facilitate cognitive modeling and change. This paper will both discuss this claim and present a possible application of this approach: the therapeutic use of VR for the treatment of body image disturbances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-22
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Cyber Therapy and Rehabilitation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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