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The advent of virtual reality is signaling a radical shift in how we approach travel: Soon we will be able to traipse around the world for the cost of a single virtual reality headset, journeying to far-flung destinations without ever leaving our couches. But it won’t be all gimmicky antics and entertaining simulations: How will this new strand of technology permanently restructure the way we interact with our communities? And what repercussions will this have for how the next generation interprets the world around them? Cognitive neuroscientist Colin Ellard and psychologist Peter Kahn speak on the value of travel and discuss how we’ll be navigating the globe in the future.

Please introduce yourselves and what you study. Colin: I’m a cognitive neuroscientist. I’m interested in the relationships between brain states and behavior, and I have a special interest in how to apply what we know about behavior and neuroscience to issues like building better cities, which is a field called environmental psychology. In my laboratory, I do experiments that involve simulations in immersive virtual reality of different settings and scales—anything from the interior of a room up to urban-scale settings.

  • Words:
    Georgia Frances King

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