Virtual reality isn’t just for humans anymore. A new holodeck has been developed by FreemoVR to immerse animals in arenas with computers creating the walls or floors to study their responses to illusions. Researchers from Vienna Biocenter in Austria, report that this VR-based study can further inform them on human genes and brain circuitry. Using FreemoVR’s technology, the researchers studied behavior of mice, fruit flies, and zebrafish as these animals interacted with vertical pillars, floating rings, checkerboard floors, virtual plants, and a swarm of aliens–all in virtual reality. Additional VR experiments by this group reveal that researchers can silence the activity of single brain cells in fruit flies, among other achievements.
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