Prof. Mel Slater from University of Barcelona to present at iLRN 2019: Using Virtual Reality for Implicit Learning

Mel Slater

University of Barcelona (Spain).

Using Virtual Reality for Implicit Learning

In virtual reality, you can look around wherever you like, and still, of course, see virtual reality. What happens when you look down towards yourself or in a virtual mirror? If it has been so programmed you will see a life-sized virtual body replacing your own. You are likely then to have the perceptual illusion that the virtual body is yours, even though you know for sure that it is not. This is referred to as a body ownership illusion. Here I will describe this perceptual illusion, and give examples of some of its consequences, concentrating on implicit learning and how the form of the body might influence cognition.


Mel Slater, Distinguished Investigator at the University of Barcelona,  is co-Director of the Event Lab (Experimental Virtual Environments for Neuroscience and Technology). He was previously Professor of Virtual Environments at University College London in the Department of Computer Science. He has been involved in research in virtual reality since the early 1990s and has been the first supervisor of 38 PhDs in graphics and virtual reality since 1989. In 2005 he was awarded the Virtual Reality Career Award by IEEE Virtual Reality ‘In Recognition of Seminal Achievements in Engineering Virtual Reality.’  He has been involved in and led several international projects in this field. He held a European Research Council Advanced Grant TRAVERSE 2009-2015 and has recently started a second Advanced Grant MoTIVE 2018-2022. He is Field Editor of Frontiers in Robotics and AI, and Chief Editor of the Virtual Environments section. He has contributed to the scientific study of virtual reality and to the technical development of this field including its applications in clinical psychology and the cognitive neuroscience of how the brain represents the body. His publications can be seen on He is a Founder of the company Virtual Bodyworks S.L.