I believe that the principle of Embodied Cognition is probably one of the most significant and important concepts to understand about virtual reality. Cognitive science researchers have been connecting the dots the importance of our bodies when it comes to perception, the subjective construction of reality, and how we process and think about information. We use our entire body and surrounding environment in our cognitive processes, and virtual reality is bringing our entire bodies into computing in a way that takes full advantage of the insights coming from embodied cognition research.
LISTEN TO THE VOICES OF VR PODCAST
EleVR is a VR research collective that has declared 2017 as the “Year of the Body.” “Mathemusician” and virtual reality philosopher Vi Hart was a self-proclaimed ‘body skeptic’ seeing it as an inconvenience to take care of in the pursuit of higher forms of beauty with math and music, but after some preliminary experiments with embodied visualizations of physics she started to have a direct experience of the power of Embodied Knowledge.
I had a chance to catch up with EleVR’s Vi Hart and M Eifler to hear about their VR experiments and research into embodied cognition from creating interactive math museums built around 3D Venn Diagrams, visualizing hyperbolic space, and exploring the boundaries of container schemas and metaphors for understanding the concept of home and a place to rest.
Venn Diagram Museum
Hyperbolic Space in VR
Real Virtual Physics
Check out my previous episodes about Embodied Cognition:
- Embodied Cognition: Using Dance to Teach Computational Thinking
- Immersive Analytics & Embodied Cognition
- Saadia Khan on Embodiment Theory & how using virtual avatars can improve learning & how you feel
- Embodied Cognition & Using Social Structures for Collaborative Learning