The first images when you Google "virtuality". Products from the Virtuality Group. LEFT: Virtual Reality Society, RIGHT: Wikimedia ( Jonathan D. ).
At Neuromatch 2.0, I gave a talk on the concept of virtuality titled "Computational Virtuality as a Form of Artificial Intelligence" (slides available on Figshare). Virtuality is a means to summarize all brain and body systems involved in a virtual experience. This talk features two big ideas, the second of which the Saturday Morning NeuroSim group will be building on in the coming months.
1) "Being Virtual" as Human Performance (click to enlarge).
2) Differentiating Allostasis machine (click to enlarge). Allostatic load is induced collectively by stimulus , leads to dysregulation of system and ultimately to a new homeostatic setpoint.
Overall, virtuality can be characterized as a constructive sensory experience (h/t to Anson Lim). The first big idea stems from the observation that current theories are too limiting to properly characterize virtual experiences at the systems-level. Indeed, the very notion of objective reality is based in part on the synchronization of perception and action. When this synchronization is disrupted or perturbed in any way, we observe virtuality. This does not even require a virtual environment -- virtuality can be experienced in our interaction with the physical world [for an example from fly-human interaction, see 2]. But virtual environments are the most common way to elicit the allostatic load required to observe virtuality.
There are two aspects of embodied performance essential to understanding the virtuality effect. The first is the idea of cognitive gaps, or disruptions to spatiotemporal representations caused by the perturbation of reality. The second involves inducing allostatic load in the internal model the represents perception-action coupling. The latter has wide-ranging effects in the homeostat (nervous system), and can lead to many different effects of varying length scales.
But where does the artificial intelligence part come in? In the second part of the talk, I conclude that the effect sizes for human experiments are too small and formal experimental design is too limiting to demonstrate virtuality. This is particularly true for observing virtuality over long periods of time. Therefore, we can use computational agents! To propose a general approach, we want to identify two attentional and three sensorimotor features essential for any agent to exhibit virtuality.
Naturally, we want our agents to be embodied in some manner. We propose working with two types of agent: Morphogenetic Agents, a novel agent type that can exhibit both pattern recognition and morphogenesis (percepetion-action), and the well-known Braitenberg Vehicle, in this case experiencing incongruous environmental physics which leads to gaps in the perception-action loop.
 this requires a ecological view of perception. For a short introduction, please see: Lobo, L., Heras-Escribano, M. and Travieso, D. (2018). The History and Philosophy of Ecological Psychology. Frontiers in Psychology, doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02228.
 Alicea, B. (2013). Perceptual Time and the Evolution of Informational Investment. Synthetic Daisies blog, September 24.