November 5, 2011

New Nature Reviews Neuroscience paper

This is my choice for "Science and Engineering paper of the week" (although with a conflict of interest). It took a mere three and a half years (from hazy concept to finished product), but I along with colleagues Corey Bohil and Frank Biocca got a review article published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience. The title is "Virtual reality in neuroscience research and therapy" and the advance online publication is now available. This work is the culmination of our efforts in the former MIND Lab at Michigan State University. Here is the abstract:

"Virtual reality (VR) environments are increasingly being used by neuroscientists to simulate natural events and social interactions. VR creates interactive, multimodal sensory stimuli that offer unique advantages over other approaches to neuroscientific research and applications. VR's compatibility with imaging technologies such as functional MRI allows researchers to present multimodal stimuli with a high degree of ecological validity and control while recording changes in brain activity. Therapists, too, stand to gain from progress in VR technology, which provides a high degree of control over the therapeutic experience. Here we review the latest advances in VR technology and its applications in neuroscience research".

I have to say that despite what anyone might tell you, writing reviews are as tough if not more difficult than writing a research paper. The amount of background reading you must do is incredible, and distilling all of this into an interesting piece of work (even working amongst three people) takes a lot of effort.

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