If a company brings back a dead celebrity via hologram and AI, who owns them? Can we use AI to teach robot dogs real human emotions? The answer to all these questions lie ahead, but first, we need to talk about Japan, where researchers are using VR to improve bodily awareness, here's the entire story.
Virtual Reality Training To Improve Human Senses In The Long Run
To help Japan's rapidly ageing society, researchers have developed a brand new use of Virtual Reality technology. They'll be using it to retain motor functionalities in the country's older population and improve sports training techniques. Here's how VR comes into play.
Our body not only lets us use our limbs, including legs and arms, but also inform us where they are all the time. It doesn't matter if your eyes are closed or open; you can easily sense your limbs lying in a particular position.
This combination of ownership and agency is a complex one and scientists are yet to separate them. In the virtual world, however, a Japanese researcher has had a breakthrough. Professor Kazumichi Matsumiya from the Graduate School of Information Sciences at Tohoku University, isolated these two elements using the VR.
In his study, he made his participants wear VR headsets and allowed them to control a virtual hand on the screen. He found that his participants exerted a higher level of motor control over the artificial hand, regardless of its ownership.
His findings suggest that Virtual Reality could massively help in the effectiveness of rehabilitation and improve several sports training methods used by athletes. Such technology could also speed up the recovery process of patients undergoing physical therapy. During unfortunate accidents, the surviving members often end up losing their motor functions. Training them using VR could help them recover without putting their actual bodies at risk.
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