Virtual reality, the brain and real dizziness

Virtual reality, the brain and real dizziness

I tried the Climb, a Virtual Reality game for the Oculus headset.

The experience is amazing. I felt like I was high above the ground. I felt dizziness even if I knew that I was in a simulation. The rational conscious part of me knew that I was on the ground wearing a headset, but when I looked down, I felt that I was going to fall. Scary!

This kind of experience confirms how I think the brain works. Each part of the brain develops an idea of what is going on and each one competes for attention, movement, etc. Some parts of the brain are convinced that I am about to fall, so they alert the body: the heart rate accelerates, I get shivers, I want to duck, etc. Other parts of the brain know that I am safely immersed in a simulation and, instead, want to keep the body calm.

The traditional approach to AI is bottom-up and top-down, although I think a better model would be one of many competing local nodes, together expressing a dynamically changing organization.

Obviously it is easier said than done, but I use the decentralized model as an inspiration for the project that I am currently working on.